Allyson Felix wins 200-meter dash for first individual gold
After silver medals in 2004 and 2008, Allyson Felix finally broke through with a dominant gold medal-performance in Wednesday's women's 200-meter dash final.
|Felix finally took the gold on Wednesday (Getty Images)|
At long, long last, Allyson Felix has her women's 200-meter dash gold medal.
After frustrating silver medals in both Athens and Beijing -- placing second behind Jamaican nemesis Veronica Campbell-Brown on both occasions -- Felix prepared for London with the sharpest focus of her 200 career, and saw it pay off in dominant fashion Wednesday. Despite a loaded final stacked with Olympic sprinting medalists (Campbell-Brown included), Felix ran away from the field and won the gold in a time of 21.88.
Jamaican two-time 100-meter gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver in 22.09, two-to-three strides behind Felix. American Carmelita Jeter won her second medal of the Games, earning the bronze in 22.14 to add to her 100-meter silver.
Campbell-Brown finished fourth in 22.38. The U.S.'s Sanya Richards-Ross, the London gold medalist at 400 meters, finished .01 back in fifth.
Fraser-Pryce started and finished strong, coming out of the blocks quickly and then closing somewhat on Felix in the final 30 meters. But Felix owned the middle 100 meters, roaring out of the turn and using her long strides to create a definitive lead.
Felix had one previous Olympic gold medal, won in 2008 as part of the victorious U.S. 4x400 relay. But she made no secret of the fact she desperately wanted one of her own in the 200, and after a failed attempt to run a 200-400 double at the 2011 World Championships -- taking silver in the 400 but a disappointing bronze in the 200 behind Fraser-Pryce and Jeter -- she dropped the 400 in favor of the 100, an event she said did more to help her in her specialty.
The benefits of that decision were obvious at June's U.S. Olympic Trials, where she ran the 100-200 double -- famously finishing in a dead heat with Jeneba Tarmoh in the 100 for the final Olympic berth in that event -- and ran a 200 personal best time of 21.69 to dominate that final as well.
That performance stamped her as the clearcut favorite in London despite her Olympic history, and if the pressure of that status affected her, it never showed--she posted a personal best in the 100 final, finishing fifth, and cruised through the heats of the 200.
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