The 2021 British Olympic Trials were held June 25-27, 2021 in Manchester, England. Stuart Weir was there to cover the event for us and provided us with a plethora of stories. We missed posting a couple and we apologize. The pieces on the 100m, which was just posted, and now, the Men’s 800m, give you a better appreciation of the events and the teams going to the Tokyo Olympics.
The men’s 800m has a ton of fine athletes, with Kenya, Great Britain, and the U.S. at the lead. This 800m Olympic Trials was a tough event. Enjoy Stuart’s piece.
The men’s 800 was positively stacked. That Max Burgin had to pull out with injury was a great shame. The race still had that fascinating blend of youth and experience. Joshua Lay made the first move leading through the bell in 51.52. Elliott Giles took the lead half way round the second lap but Oliver Dustin and Daniel Rowden went with him. Three hundredths of a second separated the three at the end with Giles holding on and Dustin taking the other automatic Tokyo place.
The final result was:
Rather than my analysis, here is what the top three made of the race:
Elliot Giles “It was such a tactical affair out there. I didn’t want to take any chance in that race. I ran it as I wanted to, enjoy it and do what I had to do. Racing is tactical at this stage so I waited for the last 100m and put down the metal then and I had to dip at the line.
I knew I had put in a surge and did it at 200m which I hadn’t wanted to do so I had to use that twice to get there. I was anxious coming into the race as I have come back from a quad injury so I knew I wasn’t the fittest coming into the race and I needed this to be tactical so I could win. In 3 to 4 weeks I will be really ready to race and I am very confident that I can deliver but this doesn’t replicate the Olympics as this was too slow”.
Oliver Dustin “What a fantastic race that was. I really enjoyed it. There was a lot of bumping and barging and going down the backstraight I ran into someone and someone else was tripped but I felt controlled and executed the race 99.9% of the way but we were all falling apart in that last 10 meters. Elliot just pipped me to the line.
It has given me a massive confidence boost and it’s what I came here to do so I am really pleased. The rest of the world need to be fearful of what the guys are bringing from GB. I am really looking forward to pitching myself against the rest of the world. I am now 20 years old so to be going to the Olympics is amazing”.
Daniel Rowden: “It was tough out there. Preparations went OK and I went into the race with a bit of a niggle so I haven’t run all week apart from the heats. I felt ok going into the final straight. I thought I had got it but all the boys are strong and I think any of us could win a medal in Tokyo. I perhaps could have kicked earlier but I wanted to be careful and my coach said ‘don’t sacrifice top three for the win'”.
Giles and Dustin are in the Olympic team but who will be the third man? How can you omit Rowden who was 4 hundredths of a second from winning? On the other hand, Jamie Webb is a proven championship athlete and medal winner. I am glad I am not a selector.