Moment race walker gets pipped by rival after celebrating before finish line as commentator gasps ‘I can’t believe it’

A RACE WALKER got a step ahead of herself – before embarrassingly being pipped on the line.

Laura Garcia-Caro thought he was about to win bronze in the women’s 20km race walk at the European Athletics Championships in Rome.

Laura Garcia Caro thought she was about to win a bronze medal in the European Athletics ChampionshipsCredit: Getty
Her premature celebrations were cut short by Ukrainian Lyudmyla OlyanovskaCredit: Getty
Garcia Caro missed out on bronze in the 20km race walkCredit: Getty

She headed into the final 400m around the track inside the stadium with a good lead in third – so much so that she was handed a Spanish flag.

So just as she approached the finish line, Garcia-Caro punched the air in delight with a beaming smile and even stuck her tongue out on the brink of her first major athletics medal.

But the 29-year-old had absolutely no idea Lyudmyla Olyanovska was right on her tail after closing the gap on the home straight.

And with five metres to go of the 20,000, the Ukrainian managed to pull alongside her celebrating rival in dramatic scenes.


Garcia-Caro’s face suddenly dropped from one of sheer delight to one of utter horror and dismay as it became clear what was unfolding.

Olyanovska had all the momentum and speed and managed to overtake just two metres from the finish line.

Garcia-Caro did not have any time to react and was left bewildered by the comeback and sheepish from her blunder that meant she came fourth.

The BBC Sport commentator called the action: “Oh my word, she’s been caught. I can’t believe it.

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“I cannot believe it.

“No warning, too much noise in the arena, nobody could tell her, ‘Watch out, watch out.’

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“And she was caught literally two or three strides from the line, in fact she’d started celebrating arms in the air.”

Incredibly, both Olyanovska and Garcia-Caro crossed the line after 20km of walking in official times of 1:28.48 – 40 seconds behind winner Italian Antonella Palmisano.

But it was clear the Spaniard had been beaten to bronze and said: “I was really tired on the last lap. I did my best.”

Plenty of fans chipped in with brilliant responses to the chaos.

One said: “Never celebrate too early😂”

Another wrote: “Lesson of the day: don’t get cocky until you’ve actually got the result.”

A third added: “She’s got the flag and everything!! Silly girl 🤣”

A fourth commented: “Absolutely love it when this happens.”

And a final user replied: “And now she’s a meme, what a consolation prize.”

And bronze-medallist Olyanovska – who served a four-year doping ban from 2015 to 2019 – said: “Today is a happy day for me winning this bronze medal.


“The most important thing is that I need to say big thank you to my mother, and my father and the whole of Ukraine. It is a very emotional moment for me.

“Of course, I was tired in the last kilometre and last metres, but I wanted to win this medal for my country so much.”

The Spaniard had her arm up in celebration five metres before the lineCredit: X @BBCSport
Her face dropped when her rival overtook in the final momentsCredit: X @BBCSport
The pair crossed the line with the same official timeCredit: Getty
Fans said the Spaniard should now have learnt her lesson the hard wayCredit: Getty

Source: Athletics -


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