The women’s final of the 5000m at the European Championships went the way of the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan after a marvelous run from the Dutch athlete.
However, in a scenario that even the seasoned George Hamilton claimed never to have seen before, Israel’s Lonah Salpeter committed an atrocious error at the conclusion of the penultimate lap.
Believing to have finished the race with one lap still remaining, Hamilton summed up the only excuse Salpeter could muster:
I cannot recall anything quite as dramatic as that … I think she thought she was chasing for the medal … and she thought she’d got silver, and then the bell rang.
In the replayed footage of the race from an alternative angle, Satpeter can be seen clearly pulling up to celebrate what she believed was her silver medal success.
Taking a few seconds to realise that the race still had one lap left to run, the athlete had all but reached a stand-still and, when she began to move again, it was clear to see that her momentum had been shot. Having chased down Hassan for what she thought was a chance of nicking the gold medal, Salpeter’s energy sources was all but exhausted.
Recovering somewhat well, Salpeter nevertheless could do no better than finish 4th. Absolutely devastated after the race’s actual conclusion, Salpeter collapsed on the near-by grass.