ALEX BEDDOES claimed the nation’s third gold medal of the 2019 Pacific Games last night, in front of a packed crowd at Apia Park, in Samoa.
“I feel pretty good. Pretty happy to get the win tonight,” Beddoes says.
The 24-year-old was a favourite heading into the men’s 800 metres final, holding the number two seed for the heats with a time of 1:51.64 minutes.
In the showdown, he clocked 1:53.18.
Beddoes qualified for the final after finishing second in his heat with a time of 1:59.73. He admits that he ran conservatively in his heat, looking to preserve energy for yesterday’s final.
“The aim was just to take it easy in the heats, save as much energy as I can for the final. I wasn’t too worried about the time, I just wanted to go for the win,” says Beddoes.
The Olympian currently holds the national record for the event, with a time of 1:51.64, a record he set at the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Sydney, Australia.
Beddoes also competed in the men's 800 metres at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he finished ninth in his heat, with a time of 1:52.76.
The race last night was not without controversy, as Beddoes was accidentally tripped up by a fellow competitor at the start of the second lap, but managed to recover his balance, saving himself from what would have been a disastrous fall.
“That definitely wasn't part of the plan,” Beddoes says.
However, the Rotorua-born athlete kept to his game plan, sticking with the pack for the first lap, before separating himself over the last 200 metres of the race.
Beddoes will not have much time to recover from last night’s race, as he competes again tonight, this time in the men’s 1500 metres event, which is a straight final.