Spain's Laura Garcia-Caro celebrates too early and misses out on bronze medal in 20km race walk


This is why you never celebrate early.

Spain's Laura Garcia-Caro missed out on a major medal in the 20km race walk, at the European Athletics Championships, just five metres from the finish line by starting the party prematurely.

Garcia-Caro, in third place going into the final straight in Rome's Stadio Olimpico, began to celebrate what she thought was a bronze medal as she approached the finish line.

However, her smile of joy as she waved the Spanish flag quickly faded as Ukraine's Lyudmila Olyanovska surged past her with just five metres to go, denying the 29-year-old a medal in a moment that went viral on social media.

"I am quite disappointed. The first part of the race I suffered, but (I did) recover and in the last 10 metres I thought I had it but I didn't," Garcia-Caro told local media.

"Now I have to assimilate (what happened) and heal my heart," she added.

Gold and silver went to Italians Antonella Palmisano and Valentina Trapletti in the 20km race, which had 35 athletes from 14 countries take part.

Additional reporting by Reuters.