The 2011 No. 1 runner Morgan Uceny fell during the 1500 meter Olympic final, and began sobbing on the track well past the end of the race that she could not finish. Uceny, 27, who also fell at last year’s world championship in South Korea, has had a tumultuous career of highs and lows, but at her best she has redeemed herself completely and was expected to become the first American medalist in this distance. "Twice in a final, to have that happen, the same girl. That sucks," said U.S. runner Shannon Rowbury, who finished in sixth place — the best ever by an American woman at the Olympics. The fall, caused by a back kick to her left knee from a Russian runner, took Uceny down only 400 meters before the finish line.

Uceny, who had trained with coach Terrence Mahon to avoid another fall, is said to have done everything right to prevent what was ultimately just bad luck. "It was a tough one. Hard to handle when you do everything right and something like this happens to you," Mahon told USA Today. "Not the way you want to have as the end to your first Olympic experience. Although she did not address the media after the race, there was no doubt about Uceny’s disappointment and anger as she hit the ground, catching herslef on her palms. "Morgan is strong, and she will be better than ever as she comes out of this fall," Mahon said. "She is one of the toughest athletes I have ever worked with. It has been an honor. I am extremely proud of her. She will be back on top soon."

The scene was perhaps more heartbreaking because no other athlete acknowledged Uceny’s fall. "I heard a big 'splat' at 400 to go," Rowbury said. "I think I could tell it was Morgan," Rowbury continued, adding that it was “horrifying” that no one came to her aid. Uceny’s accident is reminiscent of another American, Mary Decker, who fell in the 3,000 meters at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics after being tripped by Great Britain’s contender, Zola Budd.

Turkey ending up sweeping gold and silver, while Bahrain took home the bronze.

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