Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shannon Rowbury Is Hot Us Athlete

Shannon Rowbury
San Francisco's Shannon Rowbury recorded the highest finish by an American woman in an Olympic women's 1,500-meter final when she came across in seventh on Saturday night at the Bird's Nest.Rowbury was in fifth position with 600 meters to go and was fourth with 500 remaining when she began to lose contact with the leaders. She finished seventh in 4 minutes, 3.58 seconds.

With a spirited move with 200 meters left Kenya's Nancy Langat moved to the front and held the lead to the finish for the gold medal in 4:00.23. Behind her, Ukrainians raced for the silver and bronze medals, with Iryna Lishchynska getting second place in 4:01.63 and Nataliya Tobias third in 4:01.78."I put myself in it," Rowbury said. "I just didn't have the extra gear the last 200 meters. I'm happy I kept myself at the front. I would have liked to have a little extra at the end to get in the top three."Dating to 1972 when the 1,500 for women was included in the Olympic program, four American women have finished eighth in finals: Jan Merrill in 1976, Ruth Wysocki in 1984, Mary Slaney in 1988 and Marla Runyan in 2000.Through 2 1/2 laps Rowbury was a factor in fifth position, within striking range of the leaders. But when she needed to step on it, there was no acceleration.


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