Noble bags bronze in Beijing

Noble bags bronze in Beijing

From Staff Reports
August 19, 2006

Third place wound up being another first for Rebekah Noble.

The Rogers High School graduate used a strong finish Friday to capture the bronze medal in the 800 meters at the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Beijing – the first time an American woman has medaled in the event.

But the late kick that has become her trademark since she moved up to the two-lap event as a high school senior actually came a little too late.

Olga Cristea of Moldova also had a big burst down the stretch to take the gold medal in 2 minutes, 4.52 seconds – just ahead of Kenya\'s Winny Chebet, who clocked 2:04.59. Noble was timed in 2:04.90 in third – more than 2 seconds off her world-leading junior time of 2:02.07.

\"I\'m very happy with my bronze,\" Noble said, \"but I could have done better. I waited too long to kick.\"

Still, it capped a remarkable – and long – season for the University of Oregon freshman, who started it with a runner-up finish in the NCAA Indoor 800. Outdoors, she won the Pacific-10 Conference, NCAA West Regional and NCAA titles before claiming the U.S. Junior championship and qualifying for Beijing.

Noble\'s bronze was one of three medals won by the United States on a hot-and-steamy fourth day of competition at the Chaoyang Sport Centre.