By Mark Etheridge
He made the Olympic semi-finals in the 800-metre but Andre Olivier is a realist and knows that he has to up his game to mix it with the big boys.
Olivier ended fifth in his semi-final, the last of three, and missed the cut for the final of the event.
He ran a time of 1min 45.44 seconds┬á behind Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia (1:44.34) and Kenyan Timothy Kitum who took the two automatic qualifying spots.
He ended 13th fastest qualifier after he would have had to run two of the next fastest qualifying spots after the six automatic qualifiers.
“I didn’t run a great race tactically,” said the Potchefstroom athlete who has a best of 1:44.29 to his name.
“When I cut in after 200 metres I thought I was leading so hung back a bit but then suddenly three or four guys went past on the inside so then I had to play catch-up from that stage.”
The leaders took the bell on 51.18sec and Olivier was clocked at 52 on the dot. He pulled back to around fifth but that was it and and at the end he had nothing else in the tank.
“I made my move with around 250m to go but then in the final 100m I had nothing left.
“My Olympic debut was absolutely amazing but I know there’s lots of work to be done so I’ll go home and sit down with my coach, Jean Verster and the plan will be to have about a week’s break and then have a really good winters training.
“I must say the London people have been absolutely amazing at these Games, they have been so professional it has been mind-blowing.”
The first of three 800m semi-finals was won by Sudan’s world championships silver medallist Abubaker Kaki 1:44:51 from Botswana’s Nijel Amos (Botswana)who was just behind in 1:44.53.
In the second heat, the dominant force of the two-lapper scene, Kenya’s David Rudisha, cruised home in 1:44.35 from Britain’s Andrew Osagie.