Elian Larregina looked like he was having the race of his life Wednesday at the world under-18 championships in Nairobi.
He got off to a smashing start in his 400-metre quarterfinal race, launching to the front of the pack where the 17-year-old remained until the final stretch. While other racers began to catch up, the Argentine held on to what could've been a second- or third-place finish until he stumbled at the end with just one metre to go.
"If he just tumbled a metre later, he probably would've tumbled through his way to the semifinals because the first four in each heat qualify," one of the broadcast announcers said during the International Association of Athletics Federation's live stream.
Alas, Larregina, who eventually picked himself up, finished the race last with a time of 59.05 seconds, nearly 12 seconds behind heat winner Melkamu Assefa of Ethiopia.
Larregina qualified for the event last month in Mendoza, Argentina, where he won the meet and set his personal best time of 49.24.
Argentine media outlets lauded Larregina's efforts at the time and noted, "that time is enough to dream about running competitively in Kenya."
At 17, Larregina's dream of placing in the under-18 event may be over, but he's young enough that this may wind up a minor bump in his career.