Fourth is often described as the worst place to finish at an Olympic Games and no one felt that more than Adam Gemili in tonight’s 200m final.
After a strong second half of the race, Gemili was given the same time as bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre with 20.12 but a photo-finish confirmed the Frenchman as one thousandth of a second in front after an anxious wait for the two sprinters.
The race, won by the unstoppable Usain Bolt for his eighth Olympic title, couldn’t have been closer for third spot with Churandy Martina of the Netherlands in fifth, just a hundredth of a second off a medal.
Gemili, who was named the Team GB athletics captain for Rio 2016, has a second chance at an Olympic medal in tomorrow’s 4x100m final but knows how close he came to individual glory.
“It is probably the worst way to go out when you finish in fourth,” said Gemili.
“I knew it was me and a couple of other people who could get it but I saw his name come up and I just fell to the floor.
“It when down to one-thousandth of a second which is hard to take. I wanted to get that medal not for myself but for my whole team and I gave it my all.
“I gave it so much and I know I can run faster but today is not about the times, it is about medals.”
Earlier in the evening, Lynsey Sharp looked in fine form in the women’s 800m semi-final, finishing in second place to qualify for Saturday’s final with a time of 1:58.65, and the 26-year-old doesn’t plan on just making up the numbers.
“There is nothing to lose in the final,” said Sharp. “There are only going to be eight girls on the start line. I feel very confident in myself and I believe in the plan we set out before the race so I am in great form.
“I don’t just want to be a finalist; I want to fight for a medal. We have seen so many shocks over the last few days here so it is clear anything can happen.”
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke was unable to join her however after she finished fifth in her 800m semi.
Elsewhere, Eilidh Doyle finished eighth in the final of the 400m hurdles while Charlie Grice made it through the men’s 1500m semis with a fifth place finish. It wasn’t to be for Chris O’Hare though as his Rio 2016 came to an end as he came in 10th in his 1500m semi.