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Sport Athletics World Championships 2017 France London

Issued on • Modified

Bosse of the 800m

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Pierre-Ambroise Bosse came fourth in the Olympic final in 2016 but stunned the field at the world championships in London. Reuters/Dylan Martinez

Pierre-Ambroise Bosse admits a penchant for gambling. And on Tuesday night at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium he bet on his brilliance and came away with the world 800m title.


The Frenchman crossed the finishing line after 1:44.67 just ahead of Poland’s Adam Kszczot. The Kenyan 19-year-old Kipyegon Bett was third.

It was France’s first gold in the event and the victory comes a year after 25-year-old Bosse finished fourth in the 800m in the Olympic final.

On a cold August evening in east London, Bosse took his destiny in his hands with 150 metres to go. He burst past Bett and race favourite Nijel Amos.  "I am a gambler, I love going to the casino," said Bosse. "And I just gambled. I put everything on the red."

He added: "It felt like a nightmare as I was getting chased. I could not understand why nobody was going past me. Even when I crossed the line I could not believe it.”

Away from the track, Bosse is a keen guitarist and names the French songwriter Georges Brassens among his favourites. But any thoughts of poetry after his victory were soon suspended.

“On my lap of honour I saw my best friend in the crowd. He had a date with a girl in the south of France and we spoke to each other on the phone," said Bosse. "He wished me the best of luck and I thought I'd see him again in France. And then I saw him in the crowd and I was so pleased.

"He came all the way from France to see me. Maybe he brought me luck. But a few hundred metres after seeing him I was throwing up. I cannot party like Usain Bolt."