Morgan Uceny was in the perfect place at the perfect pace to unleash a killer kick and take the first 1,500m medal ever by an American women. Perhaps even gold.
But disaster struck when Uceny got too close to the long back kick of Russian Ekaterina Kostetskaya, whose left foot appeared to strike Uceny’s left knee. That caused her feet to tangle and she tumbled to the ground about 15 meters beyond the finish line, less than 400 meters from a medal.
She pounded the track with her hands and stayed on her knees with her head hanging down, sobbing at the realization that she’d hit the ground in back-to-back global championships. She stayed in that position on the track as the runners finished and teammate Shannon Rowbury, inexplicably, did nothing to console her.
“I’ve never experienced such a heart-breaking moment,” Uceny posted on her Facebook page. “I put myself in the perfect position coming into the bell lap and felt so relaxed and ready to roll. I even thought to myself, ‘I AM getting a medal.’ And the next thing I know, I am skidding on the track out of contention. As soon as it happened, I knew it was over and I couldn’t control my emotions.”
I will admit that I shocked my neighborhood with an outrageously loud expletive. I am heartbroken for Morgan.