Peter Bol has embraced Australia’s love for him but will wait to see the bill before paying for his brother’s broken furniture following his Tokyo heroics.
Bol finished fourth in the Olympic 800m final on Wednesday as millions of Australians stayed up late to watch him just miss out on a medal after some bold front-running.
It was the best result by an Australian male individual on the track at an Olympics since Darren Clark finished fourth in the 400m in 1988.
Bol-mania has taken a grip with the Sudan-born athlete twice lowering the 800m national record in becoming the first Australian to reach the event’s Olympic final since Ralph Doubell won gold in 1968.
Dozens of fellow Australians waved Bol placards at the Olympic Stadium, while spaghetti bolognaise (spag bol in the vernacular) was on the evening menu for many of his supporters back home.
“That’s sport and the impact we’ve made,” said Bol, who escaped civil war in Sudan as a young child before relocating to Australia with his family as a 10-year-old.
“The 800 takes less than two minutes but we kept Australia awake until 10.
“I know a lot of people wanted to go to sleep but they were still hanging out for the race.”
The 27-year-old missed out on an Olympic medal in the final metres as Kenyan pair Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich and Poland’s Patryk Dobek beat him to the line.
But that did not stop the party back in Perth.
“I tried to speak to my family during doping control,” Bol said.
“All I could hear was yelling and screaming. I just screamed back.
“It seemed they were having a pretty good party and I kind of wish I was there.”
Asked about his brother’s request in a television interview to pay for broken furniture caused by over-excitement, Bol said: “I guess so … as long as it doesn’t cost too much. I feel I have to pay for quarantine.”
Bol, who heads back to Europe now to compete in prestigious Diamond League events, hopes to fulfil his dream of Olympic gold at Paris 2024.
“Paris is big, but it is three years away,” he said.
“Next year is a huge year. We’ve got Commonwealth Games and world championships.
“There is still a lot to do within that time.”