Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi completed a remarkable 24 hours when he won the men's Olympic 1500 metres title after initially being thrown out of the event.
The 24-year-old was reinstated in the final, just hours after being disqualified for not trying in his 800m heat.
Makhloufi took full advantage, streaking away from the 1500m field on the last lap to win clearly in three minutes, 34.08 seconds.
"I'm very, very happy with to win," said Makhloufi, with his left knee strapped following what he said had been a ligament injury.
"It's not easy to win with big athletes in athletics, Kiprop and Kenyan athletes.
"It's not easy."
Makhloufi said he had not felt any pressure during Monday's deliberations over his fate following the 800m heat.
"It was normal.
I wasn't worried about anything. I continued my recovery with massage," he said.
A fast-finishing Leonel Manzano of the United States took silver in 3:34.79, with Morocco's Abdalaati Iguider (3:35.13) claiming the bronze medal.
Reigning world and Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya brought up the rear of the field, while New Zealand's silver medallist from Beijing, Nick Willis, came home in ninth position.
Makhloufi had stormed past Kiprop in a stunning finish to win his semi-final in 3:42.24, marking him out as a possible title contender.
He was initially disqualified from the event after stopping at the end of the back straight during his 800m heat and wandering across the infield past the pole vault area.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) referee subsequently banned him from the rest of the athletics program for not providing "a bona fide effort".
The Algeria team, upset that the IAAF had not spoken to Makhloufi, said the athlete had a knee injury.
The decision to ban him was then reversed on medical grounds.
Source : ABC
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