Allyson Felix bowed out in style – and with another gold medal around her neck.
One of the greatest careers in athletics history came to a close on Saturday (7), with Felix winning a record 11th Olympic medal and helping the United States claim a seventh consecutive title in the women’s 4x400m relay.
“I just came out really at peace, and wanting to soak it all in,” Felix said after joining Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu in a ‘dream team’ quartet that blew away the rest of the field at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Americans clocked 3:16.85 – the fastest time in 28 years – to win by more than four seconds and extend the USA’s long dominance in the event, a gold-medal-winning streak that dates all the way back to the 1996 Atlanta Games.
“I think all of us in the team have achieved a lot in the individual events and I wanted to be able to run with these women and to win gold with them,” the 35-year-old Felix said after completing her fifth and final Olympics, and first as a mother.
Poland claimed silver in a national record 3:20.53 for their first ever medal in the event, adding to the gold they won in the mixed 4x400m relay. Jamaica took bronze in 3:21.24, earning a medal in the event for the sixth consecutive Olympics but dropping down a place after winning silver behind the USA at the past three Games.
Canada finished fourth in 3:21.84, just 0.63 shy of their national mark set in 1984.
One day after winning bronze in the women’s 400m to become the most decorated woman in Olympic athletics history, Felix surpassed Carl Lewis for the most medals won by a US track and field athlete.
Felix finishes her Olympic career just one short of the all-time record of 12 medals held by Finnish distance great Paavo Nurmi. She added a seventh gold to go with her collection of three silver and one bronze.
“This is a really special team because we’re not 400m runners,” Felix said. “I don’t see myself as a 400m specialist. We all do different things and it was really cool to come together, to get to close out the Olympic Games and, for me, my Olympic career.”
SOURCE: WORLD ATHLETICS