Like it was at the 2009 and 2011 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Kaliese Spencer once again found herself in the cruellest position in sport - a fourth-place finish in the women's 400m hurdles final - this time at the Olympic Games.
Spencer, who dipped below 54 seconds for the first time this season with a 53.66-second clocking, came within 80 metres of a medal, but was passed by Czech athlete Zuzana Hejnova in the run-in.
Despite her obvious disappointment, the 25-year-old is not allowing the result to discourage or frustrate her, promising to keep working hard and plugging away with the hope that one day the elusive medal will hang from her neck.
"I'm not frustrated at all," said Spencer. "Determination is the key to success and I am always going to go to training, work hard and, I guess, one day I will be able to get that medal."
The event was won by Russian Natalya Antyukh in a personal best 52.70, with American Lashinda Demus, 52.77 and Hejnova, 53.38, taking the silver and bronze, respectively, in season best times.
Still, Spencer remains grateful, consoled by the fact that she was at least able to give her best effort this season on the biggest night of her still-young career, in a year where she has been hampered by a string of injuries.
"I must give God thanks. I went out there and did a season's best so I can't be hurt by that. It's been a very trying season and I got a season best, so I have to be happy," said Spencer. "I have been hurt a lot this year, injured going to training and watching training from the sideline, so I have to be thankful."
Spencer said that her preparation had been interrupted by injuries
to her quad, back and hamstring throughout the year, but is already refocusing her energy for the remainder of the season and next year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Moscow.
"I did my best, went out there and tried hard. I got out to a good start and didn't finish like I'm normally supposed to, but again, I am thankful. I have a few Diamond League races and then that should be it for the season," said Spencer.
"I'll approach next year in the same frame of mind - train hard and come out and hope to get a medal," she added.
- A. L.