Former Cal star Alysia Montano led the 800-meter final at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships from the start Sunday, but couldn’t finish the job, fading to fourth place to miss a spot on the podium at Moscow by a scant .04 seconds.
Instead, teammate Brenda Martinez secured third place, becoming the first American woman to win a medal in the event since the world championships began in 1983.
“I just wanted to do what I do in practices. I have had phenomenal practices,” Montano said. “That last 50 meters, I wanted to show everyone what we’ve been doing in practice but I just didn’t have it. I’m disappointed.”
Montano, fifth last summer at the London Olympics, took the lead from the outset and crossed the 400-meter mark in front at 56.06 seconds,
But Kenya’s Eunice Jepkoech Sum dashed to victory in a personal-best time of 1 minute, 57.38 seconds, followed by Russian Mariya Savinova, the defending Olympic champ, in 1:57.80.
Montano ran 1:57.95, finishing behind Martinez, whose time of 1:57.91 was a personal best.