Date: August 04 2012
IT WAS just the lightest tip of a spike brushing the last barrier but it was enough to cause Youcef Abdi to stumble at the worst time, as other runners swamped him, pushing the Australian out of a qualifying top four place and ending his Olympics.
A finalist in Beijing Abdi could not replicate his effort of four years ago in the 3000 metres steeplechase when he came sixth. Abdi was disappointed to be eliminated but not disappointed with the race he ran.
He stayed in the pack for most of the race before moving up to lift the pace and take the lead with less than two laps to go. With only 100m to go, he still led the race, but the stumble on the last steeple cost him dearly.
"With the last water jump we had a bit of a push and shove, and with the last barrier I slightly touched the barrier, and at that point of the race it is something you can't really do. Nothing more to say," said Abdi who was born in Algeria and fled the country to immigrate to Australia.
"I mean, if I didn't tip the last barrier I would have finished in the top four. That was my aim basically but that is championship racing, and that is what happens. I am disappointed I didn't make it to the top four but at the same time I did everything I could have done, and I am not disappointed really.
"My whole year I have been working towards making an Olympic final, and if it doesn't happen that is just what it is. At the end of the day it is just sport."
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