A premature celebration of an apparent victory cost American runner Molly Huddle her medal at the World Championships in Athletics in Beijing on Tuesday.

As she neared the finish line, long-distance runner Molly Huddle raised her arms in triumph.

In the final paces of her 10,000-meter race, however, fellow American Emily Infeld nabbed ahead, pushing Huddle to fourth place.

Huddle’s premature celebration. Photo: Sina.

After staring at the results in disbelief, Huddle buried her face in her hands as the stars and stripes were draped over her compatriot’s shoulders.

While the medalists in the Bird’s Nest stadium celebrated, Huddle appeared to be fighting back the tears. “It’s going to take a long time to get over,” she told reporters.

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Ryan Kilpatrick

Ryan Kilpatrick is a local writer, journalist and editor. Formerly National Online Editor for the That's magazine group in China, his work on the history and politics of the region has earned him the CEFC Award in Modern China Studies and has also appeared in China Economic Review, Asian Studies Review, China Green News, e-International Relations, Shanghaiist and various publications at his alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, where he is currently enrolled in the Master of Journalism programme.