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.