None of us saw it coming. Most pundits predicted cross-country skier Kikkan Randall would medal today at Sochi—she would've been the first American to do so since Bill Koch took silver in 1976. But she missed her chance to go to the semifinals in the women's freestyle sprint by five-hundredths of a second.
She led most of the quarterfinal race but was overtaken in the final meters by German and Norwegian skiers, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Italy's Gaia Vuerich snatched third, clocking in at 2:35.65, and Randall at 2:35.70.
Five-hundredths of a second "is an incredibly close margin, and I'm sure I'll be reliving those moments hundreds of times in my head," Randall told FasterSkier.com. "I'm sure it'll sink in and sting for a while, [but] I gave it my all."
No reason for Randall to pack up and go home, though. She's a strong competitor in the team sprint (semifinals are February 19) and the 4x5-kilometer relay on Saturday.