Peter Bol has spoken of feeling “back home” after he reignited his career at a low-key meet in France on Monday morning (AEST), finishing fourth and clocking 1:45.81 as he contested his first race since the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
“It was calm and peaceful to be back on the track. It was nice. I missed it,” Bol told Wide World of Sports.
“I was a little bit nervous because I usually like to start my season in Australia and I know exactly where I’m at when I get to Europe. It was just kind of getting chucked in the deep water.
“But I knew my shape, I trained well in Flagstaff and I’m in good shape mentally, so I knew the physical part would take care of itself.
“I was a bit nervous warming up and then as soon as I got on the start line it just felt familiar and it felt like I was back home. I was ready to go.”
Bol was placed sixth at the bell and made a smooth move into the lead on the back straight, but the Tokyo Olympian faded over the final 50 metres as a lack of race fitness caught up on him.
That’s understandable given the 29-year-old had not raced since August 2022.
He withdrew from four races across May and June due to an injury hampering his groin and stomach.
“It was the normal move I make,” Bol said of his move on the back straight.
“You put yourself in a position to win regardless. I thought I could hold it for the last 100 metres but I just fell a bit short … It was just race fitness and I’ll get that in the next race.
“It’ll be a lot faster and then when I’m race fit it’ll be fun again. You’re just running back-to-back and being relaxed, looking around … It’ll all come through.”
The time Bol registered, 1:45.81, is almost two seconds slower than his personal best of 1:44.00, which has stood as the Australian men’s record since June last year.
But he’s a hot tip to nail the world championships standard of 1:44.70 over the next month as he eyes Budapest.
He will continue his season in Pfungstadt, Germany on June 22 (AEST), before racing in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 28 and Lyonnais, France on July 9.
“I had lactic (acid) as I was finishing, but to be honest it’s the first race of the season that I didn’t throw up after,” Bol admitted of his comeback.
“I usually throw up after the first race of the season, so I guess it’s good signs (that I didn’t).
“I’ve obviously been battling some injuries this year, so there’s absolutely no excuses.
“I’m just late in my preparation”.
“But at the same time, the world championships aren’t today, world championships aren’t next week; it’s in August.”
Bol finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics and secured silver at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
He twice broke the Australian men’s 800-metre record at the Tokyo Olympics, before again lowering the mark at the 2022 Paris Diamond League.
This article was initially published by Nine Wide World of Sport.