While it’s no secret Americans set an incredibly high standard for themselves, one athlete has taken to publicly admonishing herself for “total failure” and a “terrible” performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Emma Coburn, the USA’s top steeplechaser for the past decade and a world champion in 2017, crossed the line in 14th place after the 3000m race on Wednesday.
However she was disqualified because she stepped off the track after a last-lap stumble over the barrier.
It’s a result the 30-year-old did not find acceptable, after she went into the race not so much hoping for, but expecting, to bring home a medal.
“My Tokyo Olympic race was a total failure. I was terrible. Disappointed to not be my best and represent my country and team well,” she tweeted, also thanking supporters for “all the kind words”.
She was even more blunt when speaking to the media after the race.
“It sucks to suck on the biggest stage,” Coburn said.
“We’re professional athletes. Obviously, everyone has their own experiences.
“But for me, it’s about results and it’s about everyone in my life. I’ve got my teammates, my husband, my sponsors, my friends, everyone in my life gives everything to me.
“So the journey is important and we’re going to enjoy the journey. But when you suck, like, that’s not part of this journey.
“I walked on that starting line thinking I was coming home with an Olympic medal.
“I should have been perfect today. I should have been excellent. And I wasn’t.
“And I don’t think there’s anything we could have done differently in practice to make today less of a disaster, which is upsetting.”
To her credit, Coburn was highly congratulatory to her teammate Courtney Frerichs, who claimed silver.
“Sending a big congratulations to the Olympic silver medalist @courtfrerichs8. You were so great out there, congratulations!!” she tweeted.
‘When you suck, like, that’s not part of this journey.’
Peruth Chemutai from Uganda won the steeplechase gold medal in nine minutes 01.45 seconds.
It was the same race Australian record holder Genevieve Gregson was unable to finish after rupturing her Achilles tendon on the final water jump.
On her 32nd birthday, she left the arena in a wheelchair in obvious distress.
– With AP and AAP