Uceny falls in Olympic finals
LONDON — Poised on the edge of history, Morgan Uceny was tripped up in the final lap of the women's 1500-meter finals at the London Olympics Friday.
European champion Alsi Cakir Alptekin, who served a two-year suspension for doping after the 2004 world junior championships, won the gold medal in 4 minutes, 10.23 seconds, and Gamze Bulut took silver in 4:10.40. Two-time world champion Maryam Jamal of Bahrain won the bronze medal in 4:10.74.
Uceny, who was competing to become the first U.S. woman ever to medal in the event, was predicted to be among the top six in the race and had been picked by Track & Field magazine to place third.
It was a heart-rending finish for Uceny, who was similarly denied the 2011 world championship when she fell at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea last September.
As she had in her previous races at the U.S. Olympic Trials and through the first two rounds in London, the 2003 Plymouth High School grad cautiously moved to the outside early to avoid getting caught up in another dangerous situation like the one in Daegu, but lightning struck twice as she tumbled to the ground in the fourth lap, pounding her palms against the track in dismay.