US Runner Celebrates Victory Too Soon, Loses Bronze Medal

US Runner Celebrates Victory Too Soon, Loses Bronze Medal

Angela Markus

The dedication, hard work and preparation of professional athletes are incomparable. The effort that goes into getting ready for a World Championship race could only be rewarded with a medal. But it is never really over until you cross that finish line.

American distance runner Molly Huddle thought the bronze medal was in the bag at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing this past week, but she was embarrassingly mistaken. On her way to the finish line, a then third-place Huddle watched Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka finish first and second, respectively, before lauding her accomplishment.

The problem with that was celebrating too early almost always never work in one’s favor. Like several athletes before her, this type of celebration creates just enough of an opening for the runner behind to make it to the finish line just in time.

At 53 seconds, the photo finish reveals the painful moment where one runner falters while the other snatches the bronze. Huddle’s teammate, Emily Infeld, took advantage of Huddle’s nonchalant finish and captured what she came to Bejing for—a medal. It is clear that Infield was overwhelmed with joy after the 10,000-meter challenge.

Huddle, on the other hand, was understandably distraught. As the reigning 10,000-meter American champion at the U.S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Huddle will surely seek redemption at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

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