Nick Symmonds ran the fastest 800 meters of his life in Thursdays Olympic final.
It was only good enough for fifth place.
Kenyas David Rudisha won gold with a world-record time of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds.
Seven runners in the event set personal bests and three, including Rudisha, set national records. Symmonds broke 1:43 for the first time in his career, completing the event in 1:42.95.
That race is going to go down as the greatest 800 ever, Symmonds told The Associated Press after the race.
Nijel Amos of Botswana won silver at 1:41.73, and Kenyas Timothy Kitum took the bronze at 1:42.53. American Duane Solomon was fourth at 1:42.82.
Solomon and Symmonds ran the second- and third-fastest 800s in American history.
I expected 1:43 to medal, Solomon said. Man, its crazy that 1:40 won the race and there were two 1:42s that didnt even medal, which is unheard of.
Symmonds, a 28-year-old Boise native and 2002 Bishop Kelly graduate, wasnt sure how to feel after the event. As is his style, Symmonds fell well behind early in the race and then pushed toward the finish, passing several runners in the home stretch.
On one point, Im crushed and devastated. But on the other, to do something I never thought Id be humanly capable of, Ive got really mixed emotions. I really need a pint right now, Symmonds said. To run a personal best at 28 years old, I feel invincible right now even though I dont have a medal around my neck.
Symmonds previous best time was 1:43.76. He reached the semifinals in the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Symmonds has reached the finals of the past two world championships and now the Olympics, but has yet to finish in the top three.
Rudisha was the previous world-record holder. And he was in control throughout the race.
After crossing the finish, he flung up both arms to celebrate, then draped himself in a Kenyan flag and posed for photographs near the timing clock with NEW WR on it.
He has been the dominant 800-meter runner for the past three years, setting the world record three times and losing just once since 2009. This, though, topped all that.
Its something special to break the world record at the Olympics, Rudisha said.