Victorian Institute of Sport

Bol and Deng light up Stockholm Diamond League

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Peter Bol and Joseph Deng have lit up the Stockholm Diamond League with a thrilling 1-2 finish in the men’s 800m, missing the national record by the narrowest of margins.

Bol took line honours in 1:44.56, to become the fourth fastest Australian in history. Training partner and best mate Deng was right on his tail, setting yet another personal best in a matter of days, 1:44.61 – the first back-to-back sub- 1:45 performance by an Australian.

A confident Deng slotted in a few meters behind the pace maker, taking the race by the horns going through the bell lap in 51.3 seconds. Bol sat in third place, making his move with 200m remaining. The pair hit the home straight side-by-side, with the Swedish crowd roaring them home, Bol was too strong on the day, edging out Deng by the smallest of margins.

The Australian domestic season wasn't to be for Bol, missing Commonwealth Games selection due injury plaguing his preparation. The utmost dedication, perseverance, and unimaginable hard work behind the scenes has been why Bol has turned that disappointment into a positive a matter of months later.

The question is now more prominent than ever, who will break the 49-year-old record Australian record of 1:44.40? The record is jointly held by Ralph Doubell and former VIS scholarship holder Alex Rowe.

The exciting talents who are the product of 800m guru coach Justin Rinaldi, have the same goal and aren’t phased who reaches the feat first.

“We are both chasing the same time! What makes it great is that is doesn’t matter who runs it first – We just want the record gone,” Bol said on Twitter.

Bol and Deng will again target the national record in Tubingen, Germany on Saturday, while Deng will also line up at the Paris Diamond League meet on 30 June.

Linden Hall backed up well from her recent Australian record run in Eugene, placing eighth in the women’s 1500m in a time of 4:02.89. Jordan Williamsz was a close second in the National 1500m, recording a time of 3:38.30.

In other athletics news, Georgia Griffith showed promising signs that fast times are around the corner with an impressive negative split victory. Griffith won the Portland Track Festival women’s 800m in 2:01.40 (61.18/60.20). Jaryd Clifford ticked his final box for selection at the U20 World Championships, clocking 3:47.50 to obtain his pre-departure time. At the Next Generation Athletics meet in the Netherlands, Melissa Duncan showed her strength over 5000m, recording a 30 second personal best to clock 15:18.43 to place fourth.

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