Then he went out and won the 1,500 meters from Wilfred Kirochi of Kenya, running away over the last lap with such power that Coe deemed Elliott's performance the finest 1,500 finish he had seen since Ovett's 1,500 victory in the 1977 World Cup. Elliott had to battle to keep his composure on the awards platform. "It's exciting to win a race and see your country's flag go up," he says now. "I kept telling myself, 'Finish, music, finish. I'm not going to cry, not the tough steelworker.' " His mother's photographs show that his eyes were filling fast.
He made it, though he needn't have worried. There is nothing undignified about the result of a little honest labor.