be pipped at the post

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be pipped at the post

To be defeated or overcome by someone by a very narrow margin or at the final, crucial moment, especially in a race, competition, or athletic event. Primarily heard in UK, Australia, Ireland. The favoured runner held the lead for the majority of the race, but he was pipped at the post by a relatively unknown competitor in the final 100 metres. It appears the current MP has been pipped at the post, being narrowly defeated by the youngest person to ever serve in parliament.
See also: pip, post
References in periodicals archive ?
SCOT Ross Kellett was pipped at the post for the New South Wales Amateur title in searing heat in Sydney.
Welsh veteran Vicki Thomas was pipped at the post in her bid to lift the Portuguese senior women's open title on the Old course at Vilamoura, writes Chris Smart.
The glitzy event, which took place in London, saw Claire strutting down a catwalk in her specs, but she was pipped at the post by Gemma Sutton from London.