Molly Seidel wins bronze within the girls’s marathon on the Olympic Video games in Tokyo in 2021
TOKYO – Molly Seidel did it again.
After an overwhelming performance in qualifying for Team USA, Seidel drove another brave race on Saturday. It was only the third marathon that Seidel, 27, has ever run.
Seidel crossed the finish line in 2:27:46 on a sultry morning in Sapporo in third, where the officials moved the race start time an hour forward to avoid the heat. The Kenyans Peres Jepchirchir and Brigid Kosgei came in first and second.
Splitting her time between Boston and Flagstaff, Arizona, Seidel is only the third American to ever win a medal in the women’s marathon. Joan Benoit won gold in 1984 and Deena Kastor bronze in 2004.
It’s an incredible achievement for a four-time NCAA track cross country champion, for whom the marathon is still a relatively unknown distance.
“She runs with experience that she honestly does not have,” said NBC analyst Kara Goucher during the broadcast on Saturday.
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American Sally Kipyego finished 17th. Aliphine Tuliamuk, who won Olympic tests, was about half out of the race, with her team citing an injury in a social media post.
A native of Wisconsin who ran collegially in Notre Dame, Seidel grew up racing 5 and 10 km before trying the marathon. She qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Atlanta with a half marathon starting in December 2019, and then took a shocking second place in exams on her marathon debut.
Seidel continued to train when the Olympics were postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and finished sixth in the London Marathon, which only ran in October.
Contributor: Jeff Metcalfe
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.