be a poor second

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be a poor second

To finish a race or competition well behind the winner. Primarily heard in UK. I didn't expect to be a poor second in the race—who knew that one girl would be so fast?
See also: poor, second

be/come a poor second, third, etc.

(especially British English) finish a long way behind the winner in a race, competition, etc: The Socialists won the election easily with 40% of the vote, with the Democrats coming a poor second with only 26%.
See also: come, poor