Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Missteps in biggest race of life

Are some days bigger than others?
Are some events on some days more important than other days?
How do we make sure on Yom Kippur we are able to hit all 10 hurdles and be a champion in a contest where we are the only participant?

Ignoring her jitters and the gasps generated when leader and seemingly certain winner Lolo Jones stumbled over the next-to-last hurdle, Harper won the gold medal in a personal-best 12.54 seconds. She couldn't believe it at first, or for hours afterward.

"It hasn't sunk in yet," she said. "I have the medal and I'm holding it but it's so surreal. It's a blessing. It's going to hit me maybe in the morning and I'm going to cry, thanking God."

Jones did her crying on the track at the Bird's Nest on Tuesday, bemoaning the fate that led her to take such an ill-timed misstep. She wasn't alone in her misfortune.

In the preceding race, the women's 400, overwhelming favorite Sanya Richards faded from first to third when her right hamstring tightened and consigned her to run as if in quicksand.

At least Richards won a medal, finishing in 49.93 seconds, behind Britain's Christine Ohuruogu (49.62) and Jamaica's Shericka Williams (49.69). Jones, in the hurdles, finished seventh...

"You hit a hurdle about twice a year where it affects your race," Jones said. "It's a shame it happened in the biggest race of my life. It's hurdles. You have to be over all 10 or you're not meant to be the champion. Today I was not meant to be the champion."

and when fail
“It was difficult to get back up,” Jones said. “Tonight will be hard, tomorrow will be hard. I just have to get myself back up.”

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