France’s victory in the women’s 4x400m final was remarkable in more than one way.
First off was the three-woman photo finish, with France pipping Ukraine to gold and Great Britain getting bronze. Pretty close for a four-lap race!
But the most amazing aspect of this final was just how the French came back into it.
As the above video shows, Russia and Ukraine – followed by Britain – were well clear of the chasing pack at the final baton change.
AFP: France's Floria Guei (L) crosses the line ahead of Olha Zemlyak (C)
And as the last lap progressed, the deficit on fourth-placed France increased further. Approaching the final bend, Floria Guei was well behind and at best could have hoped for bronze.
Yet somehow, in the finishing strait, she accelerated into 100m pace, eating up the track and searing over the line in first place.
Amazing, we’ll all agree – although Ukraine’s Olha Zemlyak will be devastated with herself after slowing down into the line.
Why didn’t she at least dip?
It's a question we have asked before. Athletes who don't dip risk throwing away medals.
Do they tense up at the final moment? Is it simply fatigue? Or do they misjudge their opponents in relation to the line?
Who knows what was going through Zemlyak's head. Perhaps even she doesn't...
- Sports & Recreation
- Olha Zemlyak
- Floria Guei