Sunday night, the U.S. women’s 4x400m relay team won their third consecutive World Athletics Championship victory, bringing home the 13th gold medal for Team USA. They beat both Jamaica and Great Britain.
USA Women’s 4×400 Relay Team 2021
From the first two legs it appeared like the race would come down to a lean for the gold medal, but Britton Wilson’s spectacular third leg opened up a lead that could not be closed, especially once Sydney McLaughlin seized control of the stick.
Talitha Diggs ran the opening leg and got a good start, but Jamaica, Great Britain, and Canada kept close behind her up to the exchange. On leg two, Abby Steiner led the Americans to a narrow victory, giving them a little edge going into the second changeover.
Britton Wilson’s performance in the third leg, when she started to break away from the rest of the pack, gave everyone chills. When passing the baton to Sydney McLaughlin, the reigning NCAA 400-meter hurdle champion from Arkansas, who was in fantastic shape, widened America’s lead by nearly 15 metres.
Only the 400-meter world record holder, McLaughlin, who finished 20 metres ahead of Jamaica and in an amazing time of 47.91, could top Wilson’s incredible 49.39 split. British athletes finished third overall, earning bronze.
The four ladies that ran in the final deserved to be there, and they all did a great job, but there is one key player who didn’t make the cut. In the midst of her retirement party in California, when Allyson Felix was enjoying wings and root beer, her coach Bob Kersee called to see whether she was available to run in the 4x400m relay.
Felix Won Bronze in Women’s 4×400 Relay
On the first night of competition, Felix was a part of the U.S. mixed relay team that won bronze. It was to be her final race before calling it a career. The American coaches must have seen something in her performance to pull her out of her two-minute retirement and have her run in the 4x400m relay.
Diggs ran the first leg of the semifinal and passed to Felix, who was in the second spot. Diggs remarked, “It’s quite cool that I got to be the one to give her the relay’s last exchange.” After coming down the straightaway, Felix passed the lead to Kaylin Whitney, who was waiting at the end of the track.
Just being in the short sprints and looking up to her has “gone full circle,” Whitney said. It’s incredible that I was able to rise to the occasion. It’s an honour to run with her and these other formidable women.
Felix, along with Kaylin Whitney and Jaide Stepter Baynes (who ran the anchor leg in the semifinal race), will receive a medal despite missing Sunday night’s final (she watched from the stands).
In addition to her 19 previous medals, Felix now has 20 in her career, making her the most decorated American track and field athlete of all time. But what Felix is looking forward to most is getting back into retirement so she can finish her final bite of her favourite hot wings before she has to go back to work. A small number, Felix admitted. I’ll get to them right away. Thanks for reading our article USA Women’s 4×400 Relay Team 2021.