Allyson Felix has brought the curtain down on a legendary career with a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
For a moment, it seemed as though Felix would get the dream send-off, sprinting off ahead of the pack before Dominican Republic runner Marileidy Paulino and the Netherlands' Femke Bol overcame her.
With Felix having already ruled out running at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, yesterday's run in Oregon was effectively her final race at the highest level.
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The bronze brought Felix to a record 30 World Championships and Olympic medals. The iconic athlete said after the race, “I felt the love, and I felt joy running, and so I feel really proud tonight, and fulfilled".
Felix was delighted to get the chance to sign off at home, and with daughter Camryn in attendance, and said: “To be able to compete here in front of my own crowd at a World Championships was something I had always wanted. Obviously, I am not in the prime of my career. But just to be able to finish it with Camryn in the stands, and to share that moment with her, means a lot.”
Team-mate Elijah Godwin, who passed the baton to Felix for the final leg of the race, said afterwards, "there's not one single story that can explain the impact that she had on the sport. Over the span of the years she did it, she became an icon, and for us to come out and compete with her, it's a blessing to have that opportunity".
Fellow Olympic legend Michael Johnson was also effusive in his praise for Felix, and said: "I think the thing about her career that has been most impressive is just the longevity. Making the US team is very difficult, even just making a relay team, and she has made five Olympic teams, eight World Championship teams, and that's unheard of."
In a farewell post on Instagram in April, Felix said: "This season I’m running for women. I’m running for a better future for my daughter. I’m running for you."
Felix won silver at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 in the 200m, before reeling off seven gold medals across the Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo games.
The 36-year-old added 19 World Championship medals to her haul, more than any other athlete in history.
Felix is also a five-time recipient of USA Track & Field's highest honour, the award named for Jesse Owens and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Felix has used her platform as a celebrated athlete to advocate for issues including the black maternal mortality crisis. After suffering pre-eclampsia during her own pregnancy in 2018, Felix testified before the American congressional Ways and Means committee.
She told The Ringer: "It wasn’t until going through real-life experiences that I learned my voice is valuable and I can speak on things.”
She also took on sponsor Nike for their failure to adequately support athletes through the months following pregnancy.
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