Allyson Felix makes history with 11th career medal at the Tokyo Olympics
The U.S. sprinter earned her 11th Olympic medal.
American Allyson Felix has made history in what will almost certainly be her last Olympic race. The sprinter earned a gold medal in the 4-x-400 meter relay Saturday.
The 11th career medal gave her more medals than any American in track and field history. She already set the record one day earlier for the most medals by a woman in Olympic track and field history.
Felix took the bronze in the women's 400-meter on Friday, her 10th career medal.
The Americans assembled an all-star lineup for the 4-x-400 relay. Sydney McLaughling, the gold medalist and world record holder in the 400-meter hurdles led them off, followed by Felix. She handed off to 400-meter hurdles silver medalist -- and Rio gold medalist -- Dalilah Muhammad. Athing Mu, the 19-year-old sensation from New Jersey who won gold in the 800-meter in Tokyo, closed the race out.
The U.S. dominated the race, winning in 3:16.85, almost four seconds faster than the silver medalist Poland. Jamaica got the bronze.
Felix's medal in the individual 400, her first bronze, gave her more than any woman in Olympic track and field history, besting the record held by Jamaica's Merlene Ottey.
Felix finished with a time of 49.46 seconds, a season best. Bahamian runner Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the Rio gold medalist, dominated the race to win gold. The Dominican Republic's Marileidy Paulino took silver.
The 35-year-old U.S. track star has now won 11 medals across five Olympics -- seven gold, three silver and one bronze.
Felix surpassed the legendary Carl Lewis' record of 10 for most by an American track athlete.
Felix qualified for Friday's 400-meter final after placing second in her semifinal heat this week with a time of 49.89 seconds.
The U.S. women's 400-meter relay team also advanced to the medal round after winning their heat on Thursday. She did not run in the heats, but Felix was selected to run in Saturday's final.
The U.S. team also competed in the 4-x-400 mixed relay final on July 31 -- minus Felix -- winning bronze. She had been considered a possibility for that race.
The Los Angeles resident competed in the 400 after finishing second at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field in June with a season-best time of 50.02 seconds.
The legendary athlete is one of the most decorated in her sport. She won a silver in the 200-meter in her Olympic debut as a teenager at the 2004 Athens Games.
Even if she wins another medal in the 4-x-400, totaling 11, she'll come up one shy of Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi, who holds the all-time record for track and field medals with 12.
In 2019, just 10 months after giving birth to her daughter, Felix broke the record for most gold medals of any athlete at the track and field world championship, when she clinched her 12th and 13th world titles.
The mom has been a prominent voice against gender inequality in sports. Writing in The New York Times in 2019, Felix detailed her lack of maternity protections with her then-sponsor Nike after giving birth to her daughter, Camryn. Following the publication of the opinion piece, Nike announced a new maternity policy for all sponsored athletes.
She recently launched a lifestyle brand, Saysh, that she says was inspired by her experience with "gender injustice" during her journey to motherhood.
She also has teamed up with apparel company Athleta and the Women's Sports Foundation to launch The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants, which help cover child care costs for professional mom-athletes traveling to competitions.
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