Alistair Cragg failed in his bid to make a third consecutive Olympic 5,000m final this morning.
The 31-year-old South Africa-born runner, who competed in Athens and Beijing, saw his London 2012 come to an end during the heats as a time of 13:47.01 meant he finished down the field in 17th.
With only the top five and plus the fastest losers making the cut, Cragg faced an uphill battle and, although he was in touch with the leaders up until the 3,000m mark, was well off his season’s best – crossing the line 16 seconds outside the necessary time.
Speaking to Will Downing after the race, the US-based athlete said: ”I was hoping to get in front. Sometimes when you’re hurting and you’re able to get your nose in front. Just because you have a little control you forget about the hurt and just go to the finish line.
“As I was about to get there, Craig (Mottram of Australia) went again.”
Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia won the heat in a time of 13:15:15 while Team GB’s Mo Farah also qualified for Saturday’s final.