World of Sport

She was what? You’ll not believe what’s slowing athletics star down

World of Sport

View gallery

.

Alysia Montano is a five-time USA national athletics champion but perhaps her greatest achievement in the sport came in very challenging circumstances this week.

Montano, the former University of California star, finished dead last in her heat of the 800m at the US Track and Field Championships, but that hardly tells half the story.

The 28-year-old who has won the 800m national title the past four years was, you may have already noticed, running with some extra weight.

She was, quite unbelievably, running despite being 34 weeks pregnant.

That's right: just seven weeks before she is due to give birth to her first child, Montano raced around in two minutes, 32.13 seconds in the qualifying round.

View gallery

.

She may have been trailing the lead pack by a significant distance for much of the race, but the crowd at the Hornet Stadium went absolutely wild to roar her home.

As she crossed the line amid a rapturous ovation, Montano was both a relieved and jubilant figure.

"I've been running throughout my pregnancy and I felt really, really good during the whole process," Montano said.

"I just didn't want to get lapped and be the first person to get lapped in the 800m."

Montano said that doctors not only laid out a plan for her running after consultation with her physician, but encouraged her to run the race despite being so heavily pregnant.

View gallery

.

"That took away any fear of what the outside world might think about a woman running during her pregnancy," Montano said.

"What I found out mostly was that exercising during pregnancy is actually much better for the mom and the baby.

"I did all the things I normally do ... I just happened to be pregnant. This is my normal this year."

As the pictures demonstrate, it really was a quite extraordinary sight as Montano thrilled and delighted the crowd with her effort.

It may have proved a disadvantage being pregnant on this occasion, but perhaps the little Montano could grace the Hornet Stadium's famous track again one day.

View gallery

.

View Comments (14)