November 15, 2019

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Winnipeg’s Nicole Sifuentes left off podium in Rio

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/8/2016 (1187 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/8/2016 (1187 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Four years ago, Winnipeg’s Nicole Sifuentes first Olympic Games came to an end in the women’s 1,500-metre semifinal. On Sunday night, she raced to the same fate.

Sifuentes missed out on a chance to race for gold in Tuesday’s women’s 1,500-metre final in Rio de Janeiro finishing seventh time of 4:08.53.

Canada's Nicole Sifuentes, right, and United States' Shannon Rowbury, center, competes in a women's 1500-meter heat during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)</p>

Canada's Nicole Sifuentes, right, and United States' Shannon Rowbury, center, competes in a women's 1500-meter heat during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

"What can I say? I wanted to be in that top five, and when I saw I wasn’t, I knew I had to go for top seven, that’s my only hope," Sifuentes told the CBC after the race.

"Down the home stretch, I was in eighth and I said, ‘God help me get there.’ I didn’t know what the first heat did and they were clearly much better. I’m done."

Sifuentes qualified for Sunday night’s race with a time for 4:07.43, finishing seventh in her heat in Friday's preliminaries.

Sifuentes was emotional after the race, thanking her family, friends and coaches for their help getting her to her second Olympics, including her coach at the University of Michigan, Mike McGuire, who led her to personal-best times this year.

"For all those people, I run for them," she said. "I wish I could have given them something to be excited about tonight. This is hard, but I’m thankful I was here and I gave it my best."

The 30-year-old was a silver medalist in the 1,500 at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Her personal best time in the race is 4:03.97 set this past June in a meet in South Carolina.

scott.billeck@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @scottbilleck

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