It wasn't the finish T'Erea Brown wanted — she finished sixth in the 400-meter hurdles final Wednesday at Olympic Stadium.
It wasn't the start she wanted, either — running out of lane two, the innermost lane used on the nine-lane track.
"I just didn't finish strong the way I usually do," the former Hampton High standout said. She finished in 55.07 seconds Wednesday after clocking a personal-record 54.21 in the semifinals two days earlier.
"I didn't run my race as well as I did the other day," she said. "It still was a great learning experience and I'm not going to be mad. I know I'm going to be all the better for it."
Ahead of Brown, a Miami graduate, Russia'sNatalya Antyukh ran the fastest 400 hurdles of her life (52.70, just 6/100ths off the Olympic record) to win over fast-closing South Carolina graduate Lashinda Demus of Team USA (52.77). The bronze medal went to theCzech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova (53.38).
Just out of medal range in fourth and fifth places were Jamaica'sKaliese Spencer (53.66) and American Georganne Moline (53.92), an Arizona senior.
An American has yet to win gold in the 400-meter hurdles since the event was added to the Olympic program in 1984. Team USA has claimed five silver medals in the event.
Past 400 hurdles champs have come from Russia and Jamaica (two each), Morocco, Australia, Great Britain and Greece.
Demus, a four-time U.S. champion, was close, but Antyukh outleaned her at the finish.
The mother of twin boys, Demus was in the Olympics for the second time — but it was her first games. She ran in 2004 in Athens but failed to make the final.
"That (2004) was a big disappointment to me," said Demus, 29. "What kept me afloat was that I was so young, I knew I had more time."
Brown wasn't too disappointed by her performance Wednesday.
"The whole Olympic experience has been amazing," she said. "The Olympic Trials were 10 times more stressful. I was actually really calm and cool, no nerves, no jitters. I had nothing to lose.
"This was my first Olympics and now I want to get more. I'm just 22, I've only been doing the hurdles four years. I've got a lot more to go."
Brown's season isn't over. She said she is planning run several late-summer European meets, but specifics have yet to be announced.