Plumer collapses with best time but only 10th place in 1,500 BARCELONA 92


BARCELONA, Spain -- PattiSue Plumer experienced the agony of defeat at Olympic Stadium last night, but lost in the drama of her post-race collapse was the fact she ran a personal best.

Plumer, 30, left the track on a stretcher after finishing 10th in thwomen's 1,500 meters. She revived quickly, however, and later described the experience as "embarrassing."

"I don't really feel that bad," said the 5-foot-4, 107-pound Plumer"After the race, I just couldn't stand up. I waited for a second, but I just couldn't."

Plumer completed the race in 4 minutes, 3.42 seconds, morthan eight seconds behind gold medalist Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria, but 0.32 of a second better than her previous record.

Her poor finish despite a career-best time reflected the strengt of the women's 1,500-meter field, in which the top four runners all finished under four minutes.

"Never, never did I think we'd go out that fast," Plumer said. " couldn't believe it. It didn't psych me out. In fact, I thought it might work to my advantage."

That wasn't the case, in part because Plumer competed on a sore leg. She finished fifth in the women's 3,000 a week ago, and said in recent days the leg had been "numb."

By the end of last night's race, she was simply exhausted. Only in the Olympics could a runner place 10th, collapse at the finish line and then be told she ran a personal best.

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