The women’s 400 meter hurdles came down to a photo finish. Upon entering the finals race, Natalya Antyukh had the fastest qualifying time and was expected to have a podium finish. Lashinda Demus of the US, however, was her number one opponent, having won the 2011 world championships. At the start of the full lap around the track, everyone was evenly spaced. Antyukh didn’t wait long before turning on full speed, though. She had a noticeable lead coming into the final hundred.
Had the race been a few inches longer, Demus might have beat her out, but the photo finish showed Antyukh 0.07 seconds ahead. Arms flailing as she fought for every last ounce, Demus came oh-so-close. Her sprint speed helped her make up some ground, while Antyukh was forced to slow down and take smaller steps leading up to the last hurdle. Ultimately, Demus fell short of her hopes of becoming an Olympic champion, but Antyukh became a repeat winner after taking the gold in Athens eight years ago.
The bronze went to Czechoslovakian Zuzana Hejnova, who was so excited with earning a medal that she jumped up onto her number one fan on the sidelines. Lashinda was not nearly as pleased with her second place. She had set her hopes high and will have to make peace with an outstanding silver medal at the Olympic Games. After not qualifying for the Beijing team, a silver medal sure is a long way to come.
Want an easy way to know which Olympics events are airing when, and on which channel? The BuddyTV Guide app’s new “2012 Olympics” listings puts all the events, organized by your airtimes and channels, in the palm of your hand.
(Image courtesy of NBC)