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US champion competes 8.5 months pregnant

Alysia Montano has dominated the 800m in the United States, claiming the title as the USA Outdoor Champion five times and achieving a streak of four wins in a row from 2010-2013. Yesterday, at the USA Championships in Sacramento California, Montano finished dead last, 24.38 seconds behind the rest of the field in a time of 2.32.13.

Photo by Chris Lotsbom
Photo by Chris Lotsbom

That’s a pretty good time for someone that is eight-and-a-half months pregnant.

According to Montano, missing nationals just wouldn’t have seemed right, so about a month ago, after discussions with her doctor, she made the decision to run. She kept her decision a secret, fearing a negative reaction. Her own concerns about the impact on her child were quelled by her medical team, who informed told her that as a professional athlete, her threshold and lactate levels would be very different than the average pregnant woman. She had been running without problem throughout her pregnancy.

Montano shows the drive of a true athlete when she was quoted saying “But more than anything I wanted to be here, and feeling that fire and desire to be on the track and to race. And what a better a venue than to do it at USA Nationals.  I have a qualifying time, am the defending champion, and I feel like I deserve to be here.”

It would seem that the audience agreed with that feeling, as they honoured Montano with a standing ovation post-race.