Buff Nation's best hope for an Olympic medal crashed out before even reaching the final. Jenny Barringer Simpson, one of the best runners in CU's storied history, struggled in her semi-final run of the 1,500m yesterday, and ended up finishing last in the heat. She was the defending world champion in the event, and her early exit was almost as big of a shock as her winning run last year was.
For her sake, she doesn't take any opportunity to place blame, saying "I have no excuse. [...] I have nothing. I'm in great shape and I feel
good. You just have to earn every single step, and I think I thought
about the final before I had earned it."
Warning bells were already going off in my head Monday during her qualifying heat. She was behind the lead pack for almost the whole race, and had to essentially sprint the final lap to even sneak into the semi's. A friend of mine who follows these things blamed tactics, but it's always worrying to see that kind of performance in the opening round.
It's a shame for Jenny, but she'll be back. Her win at the 2011 World Championships makes her a national figure, and her career has plenty of races left in it. I'm sure sometime over the next four years she'll run a race or two that will make everyone forget about London.