‘ALMOST LIKE A LOVE STORY’: PETER BOL’S PATH TO GLORY BACKED BY FREEDOM AND AUSSIE FANS – 9WWOS

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Peter Bol has described his road to Paris 2024 and his connection with Australian fans as a “love story”, with the cult hero preparing to claim an Olympic medal in 2024.

After a whirlwind few years, which saw him burst onto the scene in Tokyo and earn the adulation of fans back home, Bol is now on the path to redemption after a horror 12 months that saw him wrongly accused of failing a drug test.

The 29-year-old has been cleared by the governing body, but has faced even further adversity in more recent times due to injury, ruling him out of events in Australia.

But with Paris 2024 fast-approaching, the humble middle-distance runner told 9News Sydney why he is well-placed to earn a medal and light up the city of love, as well as giving back to the Aussie contingent that have backed him all the way.

“Mentally I’m probably the strongest at the moment and the physical part, we kind of work up to it,” Bol said.

“I could say it was quite challenging, but it was also quite comforting to see Australia behind you. What I could control at that time was my emotions.

“I always say the best races you ever run are when you’re free.

“It makes the story even better leading up to Paris. Everyone was behind you in the last Olympics, and now you’ve got extra people around you as well.

“People matter, the sport matters, medals come and go. I believed in them and they believed in me – it’s almost like a love story, it’s cool.”

Bol, who was born in Sudan but moved to Queensland and then to Perth, was a standout sportsman in both athletics and basketball.

His humble roots and beaming smile made him a fan-favourite and a relatable figure for a lot of fans, while his family ties continue to push him towards greatness.

“I’ve got such a big family, some of them will get out to Paris and the rest will stay at home and do the same thing, watch from home and cheer me on,” Bol said.

“It will be another big party and no COVID this time, so it’s even gonna be bigger.”

Bol finished fourth in the 800m final in Tokyo less than three years ago, before going on to claim a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

STORY BY – LIAM O’LOUGHLIN – 9WWOS

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