• Molly Huddle, 30, celebrated third place just one meter too soon during the 10,000 meters at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing 
  • The bronze medal went to American Emily Infeld who passed Huddle as she she raised both of her arms before the finish line and eased her stride
  • Infeld’s was the first world championship medal for a non-African born runner in the 10,000 meter since her compatriot Kara Goucher in 2007

Reuters

and
Alexandra Klausner For Dailymail.com

An American distance runner lost the Bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing after she raised both of her arms in celebration before the finish line, easing up in her final few strides.

The bronze medal went to American Emily Infeld (31.43.49), who pipped Molly Huddle (31:43.58) on the line the women’s 10,000 meters when her American teammate slowed to celebrate what she thought was going to be third place.

‘In that last half step, I just let up too much,’ said a hugely disappointed Huddle.

Too soon: The bronze medal went to American Emily Infield who pipped Molly Huddle on the line the women's 10,000 meters when her American teammate slowed to celebrate what she thought was going to be third place

Too soon: The bronze medal went to American Emily Infield who pipped Molly Huddle on the line the women’s 10,000 meters when her American teammate slowed to celebrate what she thought was going to be third place

Heartbroken: 'In that last half step, I just let up too much,' said a hugely disappointed Huddle

Heartbroken: ‘In that last half step, I just let up too much,’ said a hugely disappointed Huddle

THe 30-year-old runner would have taken the bronze medal had she not celebrated one stride too soon

THe 30-year-old runner would have taken the bronze medal had she not celebrated one stride too soon

‘Emily was right there the whole time with just more momentum. She got that bronze. It’s going to take a long time to get over.

‘I just didn’t want to mess up on the last lap and I did. I don’t know when that chance will come again.’

Infield’s was the first world championship medal for a non-African born runner in the women’s 10,000m since her compatriot Kara Goucher won bronze in Osaka in 2007.

‘I just ran through the line,’ Infield said.

‘I feel a little guilty because I feel like Molly let up a little. I don’t think she realised how close I was. I was just trying to run through the line. I’m really thrilled.’

Huddle’s celebratory expression changed shortly after she realized she was passed by one of her teammates. 

She cringed as she buried her face in her hands.

‘I thought one of the Ethiopians was to my right, and I looked, and she wasn’t,’ Huddle said in an interview on Universal Sports.

‘And I just … Emily slipped on the inside as I eased up a bit. She got this once-in-a-lifetime moment. I feel like it kind of slipped through my fingers, so it’s frustrating.’

Molly Huddle of the United States accepts her award after finishing in first place in the women's field during the 2014 B.A.A. 5K on April 19 of last year. Huddle was not awarded the same luck in Monday's race 

Molly Huddle of the United States accepts her award after finishing in first place in the women’s field during the 2014 B.A.A. 5K on April 19 of last year. Huddle was not awarded the same luck in Monday’s race 

Getting their scores: United States' Shalane Flanagan, left, Emily Infield, middle, and Molly Huddle look at the times following a womenís 10,000m final at the World Athletics Championships. Huddle thought she'd won the bronze but after lifting her arms in celebration, teammate Infeld passed her on the finish line 

Getting their scores: United States’ Shalane Flanagan, left, Emily Infield, middle, and Molly Huddle look at the times following a womenís 10,000m final at the World Athletics Championships. Huddle thought she’d won the bronze but after lifting her arms in celebration, teammate Infeld passed her on the finish line 

Making history: United States' Emily Infeld (right) embraces Shalane Flanagan (left) after winning the bronze medal. Infeld's was the first world championship medal for a non-African born runner in the women's 10,000m since her compatriot Kara Goucher won bronze in Osaka in 2007

Making history: United States’ Emily Infeld (right) embraces Shalane Flanagan (left) after winning the bronze medal. Infeld’s was the first world championship medal for a non-African born runner in the women’s 10,000m since her compatriot Kara Goucher won bronze in Osaka in 2007

Huddle said the crowd noise was so loud on the final lap that she couldn’t tell who was near her at the end.

‘When the bell rang, I thought, “Anybody could take this,” ‘ she said. ‘It wasn’t me today.’

The race was still a step up in distance for Huddle, 30, who was 11th in the 5,000 meters at the 2012 Olympics and sixth at the 2013 World Championships. Last year she ran the second-fastest 10,000 time in the world, (30:47.59).

In June the married Notre Dame graduate won the US Championships in the 10,000 meters, but alas this medal was not to be. 

The 5’5 runner will return home to husband Kurt Benninger, whom she married in 2009, without a medal in this event, looking ahead to a better strategy in Rio.

Meanwhile Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won a thrilling last lap sprint to claim the gold medal on Monday, capping her comeback season with her second world title in the longest track event.

The 31-year-old, who took 2014 off to have a child, hit the front with 300 metres to go and powered her way to victory in 31 minutes, 41.31 seconds to reclaim the title she won as part of a 5,000-10,000 double at the 2011 world championships in Daegu.

‘This is my real comeback,’ she said. 

Emily Infeld of the U.S. is congratulated by teammate Shalane Flanagan after winning the Bronze medal on Monday. Huddle keeps some distance after accidentally handing over her medal to Infeld

Emily Infeld of the U.S. is congratulated by teammate Shalane Flanagan after winning the Bronze medal on Monday. Huddle keeps some distance after accidentally handing over her medal to Infeld

POUT: Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego of Kenya and Molly Huddle of the U.S. react after finishing the women's 10,000 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing. 'I just didn't want to mess up on the last lap and I did. I don't know when that chance will come again,' said Huddle on Monday

POUT: Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego of Kenya and Molly Huddle of the U.S. react after finishing the women’s 10,000 metres final during the 15th IAAF World Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing. ‘I just didn’t want to mess up on the last lap and I did. I don’t know when that chance will come again,’ said Huddle on Monday

Lucky win:  'I just ran through the line,' said Infeld (left). 'I feel a little guilty because I feel like Molly let up a little. I don't think she realised how close I was. I was just trying to run through the line. I'm really thrilled'

Lucky win:  ‘I just ran through the line,’ said Infeld (left). ‘I feel a little guilty because I feel like Molly let up a little. I don’t think she realised how close I was. I was just trying to run through the line. I’m really thrilled’

‘I had many thoughts in my head during the race but I told myself I want to win no matter how hard it is. It is even more precious after I had my son a year ago.’

Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka stayed with Cheruiyot when the Kenyan sprinted away on the back straight but could not handle the pace in the final 100 metres and had to settle for silver in 31.41.77.

In the absence of Ethiopia’s three-times world champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who has taken the year off to have a child, Cheruiyot’s victory kept the title in East Africa for the 10th straight championships.

American runners
American runners

Emily Infeld (right) took the bronze on Monday. Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won a thrilling last lap sprint to claim the gold medal on Monday and Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka took the silver 

That was scant consolation for Burka.

‘I am happy and disappointed at the same time,’ she said. 

‘Happy about the silver and disappointed because I could not follow our great 10k heroes like Dibaba. I was not able to share this title with her.

‘The last metres were very difficult. I am okay now, the race is finished but I do not know whether or how I will celebrate tonight.’

Cheruiyot said she would not run the 5,000m in Beijing.

‘I am not going to double here, this is it,’ she said. 

‘I will run in Zurich and then want to get ready to fight for the medal (at the Olympics) in Rio.

Made strides: The race was still a step up in distance for Huddle (front right), 30, who was 11th in the 5,000 meters at the 2012 Olympics and sixth at the 2013 World Championships

Made strides: The race was still a step up in distance for Huddle (front right), 30, who was 11th in the 5,000 meters at the 2012 Olympics and sixth at the 2013 World Championships

Good race: United States' Molly Huddle was on of the fastest Americans in Monday's race but sadly she let down her guard just a little too early

Good race: United States’ Molly Huddle was on of the fastest Americans in Monday’s race but sadly she let down her guard just a little too early

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