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US athlete competes in 800m while eight months pregnant

ESPN staff
June 27, 2014
Pregnant Alysia Montano was left about 100 metres behind the leaders © Getty Images

While Jessica Ennis misses this summer's Commonwealth Games to have her first child, an American athlete has taken the complete opposite approach - by competing in the national championships while eight months pregnant.

Alysia Montano - a five-time national champion - finished last by a long way in her qualifying heat in Sacramento, California. She finished in a time of 2 minutes, 32.13 seconds, nearly 35 seconds slower than her personal best of 1:57.34 in 2010 in Monaco.

"I've been running throughout my pregnancy and I felt really, really good during the whole process," Montano said after the qualifying heat in an event she has won the previous four years. "I just didn't want to get lapped and be the first person to get lapped in the 800."

Doctors had given her the all-clear to compete. "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."

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