By Gary R. Blockus | Aug. 06, 2017, 1:19 p.m. (ET)
Amy Cragg Hastings (C) celebrates after winning bronze in the women's marathon at the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships at The London Stadium on Aug. 6, 2017 in London.

 

Two-time Olympian Amy Cragg surged over the final 800 meters to earn a bronze medal in the women’s marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championship in London, becoming the first U.S. woman to claim a world championship marathon medal in 34 years.

The 33-year-old Cragg, who finished ninth in the marathon at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and 11th in the 10,000-meter at the 2012 Games in London, went back-and-forth with Kenya’s Flomena Daniel in third and fourth position over the final three miles before executing her medal-winning kick with about 400 meters to go.

Cragg nearly caught silver medal winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya, a two-time marathon world champion who led the for most of the final three miles. Rose Chelimo of Bahrain passed her with about 1,200 meters to go and won the gold medal.

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Chelimo finished in 2:27:11 and Kiplagat held on for silver, finishing in 2:27:18. Cragg finished third in an identical time of 2:27:18 to become the first U.S. women's marathon world medalist since Marianne Dickerson won silver in 1983.

Cragg, the 2015 U.S. champion and winner of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the marathon, joined a lead breakaway pack of 14 runners that built a healthy lead on the rest of the field by the midway point of the marathon.

A 10-time NCAA All-American in track, indoor track and cross country at Arizona State University, Cragg had not run a marathon since Rio.

Serena Burla finished 11th overall in 2:29:32 and Lindsay Flanagan finished 37th in 2:39:47 to round out the American performance.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.