Wow. One for the ages. The women’s 4x400m relay was something truly special and tingle-inducing (yep, I said tingle-inducing) to watch. The US paired up 4 medal-holders, 2 gold, one silver, and one bronze. One of the gold and the silver had just taken the 1 and 2 spots in the women’s 400m hurdle race (itself a tingle-inducing race to watch) and had broken the world record held by the gold medal winner who had just broken the world record herself a bit over a month ago at the US track and field trials. The other gold-medal winner won the 800m race and is only 19. The bronze? She just happens to be the most decorated US track and field athlete ever.
Yes of course I’m talking about Sydney McLaughlin (gold, world record holder in the 400m hurdles, oh and it happened to be her 22nd birthday), Dalilah Muhammad (silver, 400m hurdles), Athing Mu (19, gold in the 800m), and of course Allyson Felix who, before the race, was tied with Carl Lewis for 10 medals, the most ever for a US track and field athlete. I have to say of the other teams racing against these women I expect they were terrified because I’m pretty sure they all knew the rest would be fighting for silver and bronze.
The race started with Sydney McLaughlin in lane 7. Finishing her leg in 50.21 (a longer stint for the lead runner) she handed off to Allyson Felix.
Felix had a nice lead and almost got caught by 2nd place Poland despite clocking in at 49.38s for her leg. Felix then handed off to Muhammad for the third leg who took off like a jet and clocked in at 48.94s.
The last leg was carried by Athing Mu, the collegiate 400m record-holder, clocked in at a blistering 48.32s. Total time? 3:16.85, the fifth-fastest time in history.
Watching these women run was just something to behold. They all made it look effortless, the way an elite athlete in their prime always makes it look. Honestly gave me the shivers to watch. They finished almost 4 seconds ahead of 2nd place Poland (who were also impressive). For Allyson Felix it was a gold, her 11th and leading, medal leaving her alone as greatest US track and field athlete in the medal count. I expect I won’t see that again in my lifetime. She started at the Olympics in 2004 and this was the cap to one of the greatest careers ever. Will really miss her but the future is secure with McLaughlin and Mu.