Allyson Felix was denied a fifth Olympic gold Monday after being edged out in dramatic fashion by Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas in a thrilling women’s 400-meter final at Rio 2016.
Miller, who led going into the final straight, dived over the line to beat the world champion into second place, while Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson came third.
The US star, who won the 200-meter title in London four years ago, claimed her seventh Olympic medal in total with silver to become the most decorated female track and field athlete in history.
But the title she badly craved eluded her after a thrilling battle with Miller.
“I wanted to win,” Felix told reporters. “It’s been a tough year. I didn’t quite do enough.”
Miller, who came second behind Felix at last year’s world championships, went out fast from the start and dominated the opening 300m.
But 30-year-old Felix — competing at her fourth Olympics — began to force her way back and looked set to overhaul her younger opponent before Miller made an unorthodox move for the line.
“This is the moment I have been waiting for, I just gave it my all,” the 22-year-old told reporters after winning the island nation’s first medal of Rio 2016.
“I am just so happy, so grateful, such emotions I just can’t say.
“I’ve been going through so much this year. Everyone at home will all be celebrating right now.”
Going for gold
At London 2012, Felix was unstoppable — winning three gold medals.
That came after claiming 200m silver as an 18-year-old debutant at Athens 2004 and then again at Beijing 2008 — where she helped Team USA win the 4x400m relay.
However, she was unable to defend over the shorter distance in Rio after suffering torn ankle ligaments in April and then failing to qualify at the US trials.
While Felix had never run the individual 400m at an Olympics, her success in relays and her world title had made her one of the favorites.
It was the dive heard ’round the Olympics and one that has crushed American fans across the nation.
The whole thing has Twitter up in arms about whether or not it was legal or against rules for Miller to be able to dive into the finish line.
According to Rule 164, No. 2 of the 2016-17 IAAF rulebook states:
The athletes shall be placed in the order in which any part of their bodies (i.e. torso, as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, legs, hands or feet) reaches the vertical plane of the nearer edge of the finish line as defined above.