Felix most decorated in U.S. track with relay gold

iCrackStreamsAugust 7, 2021

The U.S. women’s team dominated the 4×400-meter relay to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, giving Allyson Felix the most medals for any American track athlete ever.

Felix ran the second leg along with Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu to finish in 3 minutes, 16.85 seconds and win by nearly 4 seconds over Poland (3:20.53). Jamaica (3:21.24) took bronze.

Minutes later, the U.S. men also claimed their first gold in a track race at these Games in the final event on the Olympic oval with a victory in the 4×400-meter relay.

There were no bad exchanges this time. The U.S. men didn’t reach the final of the 4×100-meter relay, but the 4×400 team of Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Rai Benjamin was never really in trouble as they completed four laps of the Olympic oval in 2:55.70. It was a fifth gold for the U.S. men in the 4×400 since 1996.

The Netherlands took silver in a national-record 2:57.18, and Botswana won bronze in 2:57.27.


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    Felix’s 11th career Olympic medal broke a tie with Carl Lewis for the U.S. record. Paavo Nurmi of Finland holds the world mark with 12 medals from 1920 to 1928.

    Felix won bronze in the 400 meters on Friday. Of her 11 medals, seven are gold.

    The win came on McLaughlin’s 22nd birthday and gave her another gold to go with the one she captured when she set a world record (51.46) in the 400-meter hurdles earlier in the week. Muhammad, who finished second in the hurdles, and Mu, the teenager who won gold in the 800, also added to their medal tally.

    It wasn’t so much the win that was in doubt but the world record of 3:15.17, set at the 1988 Seoul Games in the last relay the Soviet Union ran as an Olympic team.

    By the time Mu collected the baton from Muhammad for the anchor lap, the record was out of reach. But the win was in the bag.

    The four sprinters huddled and hugged. Felix is 35 and has detailed her long struggle simply to make the Tokyo Olympics. Mu turned 19 this summer, and there’s a chance she will need a mighty big medals case when it’s all over.

    The U.S. has won a total of 26 track and field medals — seven gold — with only the men’s marathon remaining Sunday.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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