'I wanted rivals asking 'who's she?''
A "star-struck" Molly Seidel lines up for only her third marathon and ends up taking home an Olympic bronze medal.
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.