BAHRAIN's Belal Mansoor Ali last night missed out on the chance to claim Bahrain its first Olympic medal as he finished a disappointing tenth in the men's 1500m final.
After a season's best time of 3min:35.40sec in Sunday's semi-final, Ali entered last night's race at the London Olympic Stadium in confident mood and keen to improve on his eighth-place finish in the corresponding event in Beijing in 2008.
The 23-year-old took up the early running alongside Kenya's Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba and they led the 12-strong field through to the final lap.
That was when the pace cranked up a couple of notches though, and after their earlier exertions up to that point, Ali and Chepseba were left for dead, with the Bahraini eventually finishing in 3:37.98.
It was Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi, who burst clear to win a somewhat surprising and controversial gold in 3:34.08.
Having earlier been disqualified from the race only to be reinstated on appeal, the result capped off an eventful day for the new champion.
With Makhloufi leaving the rest of the pack in his wake in a superb final lap, the most interesting battle was played out for the second and third.
In the end though, USA's Leonel Manzano, known as a strong finisher, came from nowhere to take silver in a season's best time of 3:34.79, while Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco edged out the second American Matthew Centrowitz for bronze a further fraction of a second further back.
Interestingly, the heavy favourites for the title heading into last night's final, Kenyan duo Silas Kiplagat and reigning champion Asbel Kiprop finished well off the pace in seventh and 12th respectively.