At the turn for home, Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas appeared to be well positioned to win her Olympic gold medal. But thanks to a hard-charging Allyson Felix, Miller needed to dive (or stumble, depending upon your viewpoint) through the finish line to ensure that her first medal would be gold.
Miller finished in 49.44 seconds, beating Felix by seven one-hundredths of a second to win Bahamas’ first gold medal of these Olympics. The result is also a reversal of the 400 meter final at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, which was won by Felix with Miller taking silver. Felix may not have accomplished the goal of her first Olympic gold medal in the 400 (the others have been won in either the 200 or in relays), but she did manage to make history.
The silver medal is the seventh Olympic medal of Felix’s career, which makes her the most decorated American female track and field athlete in history. Jackie Joyner-Kersee was the record-holder with six medals prior to Monday night.
Taking bronze was Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, who finished in 49.85 seconds. Americans Natasha Hastings (50.34 seconds) and Phyllis Jackson (50.41 seconds) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.