I wanted rivals asking whos she?


marathon medallists
Molly Seidel (right) took bronze behind Kenyans Peres Jepchirchir (centre, gold) and Brigid Kosgei (left, silver)
Dates: 23 July-8 August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and app.

When a star-struck Molly Seidel lined up at the Olympics for what was only her third marathon, her goal was to leave her rivals wondering ‘who is this girl?’

They certainly know now after she took a surprise bronze medal.

The 27-year-old American had only made her debut in the event at the US trials last year, having switched from shorter distances, but ran two hours 27 minutes 46 seconds to finish 26 seconds behind Kenyan winner Peres Jepchirchir on Saturday.

“I was really trying to keep an open mind. I had the same goal that I had going into the US trials of just stick my nose in it, don’t be afraid if you’re up in the front,” Seidel said.

The field for the race, which took place in sweltering conditions in Japan’s northern city of Sapporo, had featured heavyweights such as Kenyan world record holder Brigid Kosgei and world champion Ruth Chepngetich.

“I was a little bit star struck – I look up to these guys a lot,” said Seidel. “A lot of it is just trying to stay calm and not try to think like, ‘oh my gosh, you’re running with the fastest women in the world’. It’s just trying to focus on your race.

“I think my goal today was just go in and have all of these experienced marathoners be like, ‘who the hell is this girl?'”

Seidel, who finished sixth in last year’s delayed London Marathon, is the third American woman to get an Olympic medal in the event after Joan Benoit’s 1984 gold and Deena Kastor’s bronze in 2004.

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