Felix finds sil­ver lin­ing in her historic bronze

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

LON­DON — Bronze in Wed­nes­day’s 400m proved bit­ter­sweet con­so­la­tion for US track leg­end Allyson Felix as she equaled the 14 world cham­pi­onship medals won by Ja­maicans Mer­lene Ottey and Usain Bolt.

Felix has also bagged an in­cred­i­ble nine Olympic medals, in­clud­ing six gold. Of her 14 world medals, nine are gold, while 12 were won as part of the US re­lay team.

Bolt, in his fi­nal sea­son, can move to 15 with a medal in the 4x100m re­lay this week­end, but Felix is slated to run both the 4x100 and 4x400m re­lays for the US team, which could take her to 16.

Felix surged to bronze on Wed­nes­day af­ter Ba­hamas ri­val and race leader Shau­nae Miller-Uibo fal­tered 20 me­ters from the fin­ish line.

In pour­ing rain, Felix’s unheralded team­mate Phyl­lis Fran­cis ripped up the form book to claim gold, with Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser tak­ing sil­ver just ahead of Felix.

Fran­cis looked out of the medals with 80 me­ters to go but main­tained her form amid the car­nage to post a per­sonal best time of 49.92sec — but even af­ter cross­ing the fin­ish line she had no idea she had won.

“I cannot lie, I am dis­ap­pointed to lose one gold tonight but the cham­pi­onships is not over yet so we keep go­ing,” said Felix, who kicked off her medal haul with a 200m sil­ver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

Her first global gold came in the 200m at the Helsinki world cham­pi­onships a year later.

“But this was the race that mat­tered to me, the in­di­vid­ual race. To come up short is never fun, but I am happy for my team­mate.

“At this level, you cannot un­der­es­ti­mate any­one.

“You always go into a race want­ing to win and that was my goal all sea­son, so when you fall short of that mark it def­i­nitely comes as a dis­ap­point­ment.

“At the same time, I feel very grate­ful to have done this for a long time and still be com­pet­ing at the top.”

Felix, now 31, added: “I am not hurt, it is just the 400m, it is what it is. The con­di­tions were the same for ev­ery­one, so I am not sure if that was much of a fac­tor tonight. It all seems wet to me.

“I still feel it is not over yet. I still did not give ev­ery­thing so I am ex­cited to keep go­ing un­til 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics.”

Felix played down the idea that she has not been given enough credit for her as­ton­ish­ing longevity and medal haul.

“You know I never re­ally think about it too much. I love the sport and I’m pas­sion­ate about it,” she said. “I’m re­ally proud of what I’ve done over the past 14 years, and as long as I’m en­joy­ing my­self then that is enough for me.”

LUCY NI­CHOL­SON / REUTERS

Phyl­lis Fran­cis of the US wins the 400m fi­nal ahead of com­pa­triot Allyson Felix and Shau­nae Miller-Uibo of Ba­hamas at Lon­don Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day.

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