Brighton Phoenix runner Charlie Grice showed great promise in the final of the men’s 1500m at the Rio Olympics this morning (Sunday 21 August).
The former Cardinal Newman schoolboy held his own in a slow but physical race, crossing the line at the bell with the race leaders. The last lap proved too much though, especially the final 100m.
The 22-year-old slipped to 12th in an incredibly competitive field that included two former 1500m gold medallists – and the current 800m silver medallist.
The American Matt Centrowitz won gold in 3:50:00, with the Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi taking silver – as he did earlier in the 800m. He won the 1500m gold at the London Games in 2012.
Nick Willis, from New Zealand, took bronze. The 33-year-old already has a silver from the 1500m Beijing Games in 2008.
The Beijing Games gold medallist Asbel Kiprop, from Kenya, could only manage sixth place in Rio. He finished 12th at the 2012 Games in London.
Grice recorded a time of 3:51:73, five seconds ahead of the other Kenyan finalist Ronald Kwemoi.
He may take heart from the experience of another Brighton middle distance Olympian Steve Ovett.
Ovett, who founded the Brighton Phoenix Athletics Club, only made the semi-finals of the 1500m at his first Olympics in Montreal in 1976, although he finished fifth in the final of the 800m.
He went on to win gold in the 800m in Moscow in 1980 and bronze in the 1500m. He set several world records but suffered disappointment at the Los Angeles Games in 1984 when he was ill.
But – along with his great rival Seb Coe – he inspired many others, including Charlie Grice.