Molly Huddle lifted her arms to celebrate with one step before the finish line in the 10,000 meters at the World Championships in Beijing.
The split-second move apparently cost her a medal.
While slowing down and raising her hands, she had no idea her American teammate, Emily Infeld, was sprinting behind her. Infeld caught up, shouldered her way past Huddle and crossed the line in front of her to capture the bronze.
After the race, Huddle recounted the heartbreaking moment.
"In that last half step, I just let up too much," she told Reuters. "Emily was right there the whole time with just more momentum. She got that bronze. It's going to take a long time to get over. I just didn't want to mess up on the last lap and I did. I don't know when that chance will come again."
Huddle, the American 10,000-meter champion, looked to have third-place sewn up in a race won by Vivian Cheruiyot in a leisurely 31 minutes, 41.3 seconds. But Infeld blew by her on the inside to take America's first worlds medal in the 10,000 since 2007.
"This was a little bit bizarre," said fifth-place finisher Sally Kipyego, who went to congratulate Huddle until she realized it was Infeld she should be hugging.
Still, Huddle's misstep hardly compares to Oregon track star Tanguy Pepiot, who in April led the pack and waved his arm in celebration well before the end of the race.