Mammoth's Meb Keflezighi finished fourth in the Olympic marathon in London on Sunday, but said he is happy with his performance—23 seconds better than his silver-medal finish in 2004 Olympics in Athens.
But Morgan Uceny was not so philosophical on Friday night, tripping and falling to the track when a runner behind her clipped her heel and sent her tumbling, taking her out of the medal round in the 1500 meters.
Amy Hastings, having missed the marathon team by just a fraction at the Olympic Trials in Houston last January, tried for redemption in the 10,000 meters but could do no better than 11th.
For Keflezighi, he said his fourth-place finish was just fine, all things considered.
"Coming here I told my wife, ‘I have a feeling I’m going to finish fourth,’ Keflezighi said in an interview with Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.
"Did I want to finish fourth – no. But at the World or Olympic games I’ll take it, especially considering that I did not make the Olympics [in 2008].
"In 2004, to be a silver medalist, I know how that feels, so I congratulate those people who finished first, second and third. Everybody works hard to accomplish such a thing and I am very proud of myself and our country to finish fourth.
"It’s not where you want to be sometimes, but fourth place at my last Olympics – I’ll take it any time."
Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda won the country’s second-ever Olympic gold medal Sunday by winning the men’s marathon on an overcast day.
Kiprotich, 23, covered the course in 3 hours, eight minutes and one second, 26 seconds ahead of runner-up Abel Kirui of Kenya. The bronze went to Kenya's Wilson Kipsang in 2:09:37.
Meb got off to a good start, running near the lead, before falling back to 19th-place at the 20-kilometer mark as Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang pushed the pace.
But he continued to fight, and as the runners who went out hard in the heat and humidity began to fall back, Keflezighi steadily moved through the field, pulling into the top 10 at 30-K (1:32:17) and into sixth at 35-K (1:48:16). He passed Marilson Dos Santos of Brazil and Kentaro Nakamoto of Japan in the final moments.
For Uceny, a favorite to win a medal in the 1500m, it will take a while to mend her heart after her spill Friday evening.
She was headed in the last lap of the last of three 1500m races—the first two being the quarter-final and the semi-final—when suddenly she fell onto the track.
"I've never experienced such a heart breaking moment," she said.
"I put myself in the perfect position coming into the bell lap and felt so relaxed and just ready to roll...I even thought to myself, 'I AM getting a medal' and the next thing I know I'm skidding on the track, out of contention.
"As soon as it happened I knew it was over, and I couldn't control the emotions. I was able to see my family tonight, and I don't know what I would have done without them.
"They all shared my tears but also were the rocks of support that I needed. I feel like I'm in a dream, and that I will wake up tomorrow to August 10th to race the 1500m final over....but no."