LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Taoufik Makhloufi has overcome a
controversial ban to win the men’s
1500m final during the London
Games. AFP photo
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi said being disqualified from the London Olympics for not trying did not affect his focus after he came back to win the 1500m title just a day later on Aug. 7.
Makhloufi was kicked out on Monday for not trying in the 800m, but reinstated when he appealed on medical grounds, citing a knee injury. On Tuesday, he beat a strong field for the 1500m gold medal.
The 24-year-old said he was still undergoing treatment for the knee problem, adding that it had been corroborated by independent medical tests.
“I was suffering from a knee injury,” explained Makhloufi, whose left knee was strapped. “I was told that racing and competing might be dangerous for me by the team doctors.
“But I insisted and competed, and it is true that I raced 800m and they decided to exclude me.
“However, that did not have a huge affect on my morale. I underwent independent medical tests which showed up my injury and I was allowed to compete in the 1500m.”
“There were two choices: either I’d be allowed to or not. I tried not to think about it too much,” Makhloufi said. “Every person who wins a race forgets injuries and pains. But I’m still hurting a bit.”