Final gold for USA's record-breaking track icon

2 months ago 13
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Allyson Felix knows the mode to the Olympic medals basal amended than immoderate runner alive.

She made her record-setting 11th travel determination Saturday, aft starring arsenic the headliner connected a 4x400 relay triumph that featured a who's-who of American running.

With the golden medal dangling from her cervix and the "Star-Spangled Banner" playing successful the near-empty stadium, "I took a infinitesimal conscionable to adjacent my eyes and instrumentality it successful 1 past time," Felix said.

After the last contention of the last Games of the 35-year-old sprinter's career, Felix leaves the signifier having won the astir medals of immoderate way jock successful US history. It's immoderate list. She passed Carl Lewis, and present she lone trails 1 idiosyncratic successful the Olympic grounds book: Paavo Nurmi, the Finnish region runner who won 12 betwixt 1920 and 1928.

Felix, who a time earlier took bronze successful the 400m to go the most-decorated pistillate successful Olympic track, has nary plans to spell immoderate further. In her mind, arsenic a sprinter astatine least, she besides has thing near to prove.

"I consciousness astatine peace," she said. "I went out, had each the assurance successful these astonishing women. I wanted to instrumentality it each successful 1 past clip around, and it was special."

Gold medal victor Allyson Felix of Team United States stands connected the podium during the medal ceremonial for the Women's 4x400m Relay. (Getty)

She inactive plans to dependable an progressive dependable for women, and particularly for mothers who excessively often perceive what she heard erstwhile she got large with her present 2-year-old daughter, Cammy: That erstwhile women commencement having babies, their champion diversion days are down them.

But if she had immoderate concerns astir the aboriginal of her athletics connected the track, the 3 minute, 16.85-second jaunt she was portion of successful her past Olympic contention — bully for a 3.68-second romp implicit Poland — surely enactment those to rest.

It was a 19-year-old, Athing Mu, who ran the anchor limb to unafraid Felix's medal — the seventh golden successful her postulation of 11.

Sydney McLaughlin, the 400m hurdles world-record holder, celebrated her 22nd day by moving the opening lap. She handed to Felix, who handed to different hurdler, Dalilah Muhammad, who is 31.

They had 2 things successful common:

—All won medals successful their idiosyncratic races implicit the 9 days successful Tokyo.

—Also, not a azygous 1 is simply a 400m specialist.

Allyson Felix competes successful the Women's 4x400m Relay Final. (Getty)

McLaughlin and Muhammad are affable rivals successful the hurdles, wherever they went gold-silver. Mu won golden successful the 800. Felix has ever considered herself much of a 200 runner. Three of her 11 medals person travel astatine that distance. Six of the medals person travel successful relays. All of those ones person been gold.

"I was conscionable honoured," Muhammad said of her absorption erstwhile she was presented with Saturday's eclectic line-up. "Of people she earned it, but she's truthful deserving of it too. I've conscionable been inspired by her passim my full career."

Also successful solemnisation mode was the US men's relay team. The combo of Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and hurdler Rai Benjamin combined to triumph America's archetypal and lone golden medal for the men's runners connected the track. The US closed retired enactment astatine the stadium with 7 golds and 26 wide medals.

Allyson Felix with the US emblem aft winning the golden medal successful the Women's 4x400m Relay. (Getty)

Felix's vocation was astir derailed by a hard gestation that led to an exigency C-section astatine 32 weeks, which threatened the lives of some her and her baby.

At astir that time, she was facing a wage chopped from Nike — an insult she felt was excessively overmuch to ignore.

At that point, Felix, who made her Olympic debut successful 2004 arsenic a shy, smiling teenager, became thing overmuch different: An outspoken advocator who was nary longer simply blessed to unopen up and run.

Running, though, is what gave her the platform, and truthful it was fitting that the past level she stepped connected earlier she exited the Olympic signifier was the apical measurement connected the medals stand.

"I consciousness similar I person nary regrets," she said. "I consciousness similar I've fixed my each to this athletics and there's thing near connected this Olympic signifier I request to bash now."

Her past walk of the baton was besides a passing of the torch, she said, arsenic she nodded to the 3 women beside her, "and present they're taking this into the aboriginal and it's successful precise bully hands."

Allyson Felix reacts aft winning the golden medal successful the Women's 4x400m Relay. (Getty)

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