The scene was set for Israeli star Lonah Salpeter to secure another medal at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin on Sunday after winning the gold in the 10,000m earlier last week.
Who would’ve thought that just four days later, Salpeter would suffer a major lapse in concentration would ruin her plans to gain one more silverware to her name.
The incident happened during the penultimate stages of the 5,000m race, when the Kenyan-born athlete, to the surprise of many, produced a sudden sprint finish 400m from the line, not calculating that there was still one more lap to go.
Spectators and commentators alike were left stunned by the turn of events as they saw Salpeter flung up her arms to celebrate what she thought was a silver medal after crossing the line inches behind Dutch ace Sifan Hassan.
By the time the penny dropped that there was still one lap remaining, it was all too late, as Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan and Turkey’s Yasemin Can went past her with ease at a steady pace.
The Israeli track runner looked drained, lacking in energy and finishing power after putting so much effort in on the previous lap.
Salpeter’s error was anticipated by the BBC commentators as it seemed bizarre when she went all-in for a sprint so early.
“It's a lap to go! Has Salpeter done the maths? she's going too hard here,” - watch the video below.
“Salpeter thought she'd finished. Oh, keep going! Keep going! Oh what a mistake!"
“You can see she thought that was the finishing line. And surely now she has wasted herself with that.”
She eventually crossed the finish line in fourth while Hassan celebrated gold in a Championship record 14mins 46 secs. McColgan came in second with 14mins 53 secs while Can took the bronze medal four seconds further back.
Moments after the conclusion, Salpeter collapsed on the sidelines in tears as she couldn’t believe the costly consequence of her miscalculation.
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