CHRIS O’HARE watched London 2012 with itchy feet, believing he should have been on the track rather than in the stands, writes Mark Woods.

It’s been four years of frustration. Of pain. Of planning. But the Boston-based Scot insists his Olympic debut next month will mean nothing if he ends up as a sorry spectator once more when the 1500 metres medals are up for grabs.

Twice a European Championships medallist, the 25-year-old has steadily transformed himself with grit and graft, undergoing a radical makeover from the raw teenager who opted to decamp for the States in a bid to take on the world.

“I’ve matured a lot since 2012,” he said. “It’s not so much now that I’m going to be an Olympian. It doesn’t have the same novelty because I’ve done every other major championship.

“Obviously, it holds more weight than those but it’s more about making sure I get to the final and perform rather than just being happy being there.”

It has meant prolonging his American adventure, to work under distance-running guru Terrence Mahon at his base at Harvard University, mixing with the future titans of the USA while attempting to engineer his own graduation into the elite.

“They’re actually a pretty cool bunch,” he said. “The guys at the athletics club work hard. They’re just really brainy too.”

O’Hare has plenty smarts of his own. At last year’s World Championships in Beijing, he found himself bundled out in the semi-finals, the victim of a self-inflicted tactical miscue. It is an error he does not plan to repeat, with his outings this summer on the international circuit designed as preparation for the dogfight that will likely ensue on the last lap in Brazil.

His London rehearsal pits him against the likes of Kenya’s Vincent Kibet and Silas Kiplagat in the historic Emsley Carr Mile.

It is an ideal close to the fake wars before the true battles commence.