Symmonds went a couple of years before he found a video of the race. He would often dissect his old performances to learn from his mistakes, but he knew there was nothing he could have done different in London, he said. A former Division III runner, he had maximized his potential, all 5 feet 10 inches and 162 pounds of him.
“I’m a short, stocky kid that waddles around the track,” he said, “and somehow I ran 1:42.9.”
That his performance had not been good enough for a medal was hard to accept, he said. After leaving London, he sought help from a sports psychologist.
“I’m not going to say I got over it instantly,” Symmonds said. “But I got to a point where I was OK with it.”
Neither Solomon nor Symmonds qualified for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where the 800-meter final was made up of a new field of runners, with one exception: Rudisha, who repeated as the Olympic champion.
In Tokyo, only Amos is still chasing gold, and Rudisha’s world record. Amos, 27, has fond memories of London, where he won the silver and said his innocence was a blessing.
“I was just a young kid with nothing to lose,” he said. “I’m trying to find that little boy.”
Solomon retired last year and lives with his family outside Phoenix, where he is pursuing a career in law enforcement. He runs occasionally, he said, but has enjoyed hitting the weights more often. “It’s nice to bulk up after being skinny all my life,” he said.