As the Tokyo Olympics near their conclusion, Allyson Felix saw an opportunity to achieve greatness for the United States’ Track and Field team. In her fifth and final Olympics, she did exactly that.
On Friday, Felix finished in 49.46 to take bronze in the 400-meter final. Overall, it’s Felix’s 10th Olympic medal. She has won six gold, three silver and now one bronze. Those 10 medals tie her with the great Carl Lewis as the most decorated Olympic track athlete in U.S. history. Felix has a chance to pass Lewis by the end of these Games, as she’s “expected” to compete in Saturday’s women’s 4×400 relay final.
“This one is extra special,” Felix said on the NBC broadcast after her medal-winning race. “This medal means so much.”
Elsewhere in the women’s 400-meter final, the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo ran an area-record 48.36 to win gold while the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino took silver with a national-record time of 49.20.
Felix is also now the most-decorated female track and field athlete in Olympic history. Her tenth medal gives her one more than Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey.
Felix was not the only American who won hardware on the track on Friday morning.
Team USA finished behind a blistering Jamaica in the women’s 4×100 final to earn silver. The Americans — represented by Teahna Daniels, Gabby Thomas, Javianne Oliver and Jenna Prandini — ran a season-best 41.45 compared to Jamaica’s national-record 41.02. Britain won bronze with a 41.88. The women’s 4×100 final gave Thomas her second medal of the 2021 Games, as she also earned bronze in the women’s 200-meter final. Not bad for a Harvard-educated neuroscientist
American Paul Chelimo (12:59.05) earned bronze in the men’s 1500-meter final, his second consecutive medal in this event. Prior to Chelimo earning silver in the 2016 Rio Games, the U.S. hadn’t medaled in the men’s 1500-meter since 1964. Chelimo dove ahead of Kenya’s Nicholas Kipkor Kimeli in the final meters to earn his medal
In the women’s 1500 meter final, the U.S. did not medal. Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon took home gold with an Olympic record 3:53.11 while Britain’s Laura Muir earned silver with a national-record 3:54:50 . The Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan won bronze with a 3:55:86. Americans Elinor Purrier St.Pierre (4:01.75) and Cory Ann McGee (4:05.50) finished 10th and 12th, respectively.
Italy won the men’s 4×100 relay in as close a race as possible. The Italians finished with a national-record time of 37.50, only a hundredth of a second above Britain’s 37.51. Canada won bronze with a 37.70. Team USA, which came into these Games as the favorite in this event, failed to qualify for the final after what the former Olympian Lewis described as a “clown show” of a qualifying performance.