Usain Bolt might be the most popular and charismatic athlete in modern history. He may even be the greatest sprinter that has even scorched the race track. But the 9-time Olympic gold medallist has been outdone by the American Allyson Felix in one respect.
The 33-year old from California had a special day on Sunday, September 29, as she not only earned her 12th gold medal in IAAF World Championships, thereby bettering Bolt's record of 11, but also got her first gold after becoming a mother.
It was in November last year that the most decorated female athlete in Olympics track and field events gave birth to her daughter Camryn. Speaking to MSNBC, the American broadcaster of the Championships currently underway in Doha, Qatar, after the 4x400 meter mixed-gender relay event where she won the gold, Felix revealed her enormous joy. "So special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me."
The three teammates who helped propel the American sprint queen to her latest gold were Wil London III, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry. The quartet didn't just win the gold, they ended up creating a new world record for this relatively modern track and field event.
Not surprisingly, the team that came second was Jamaica. The Americans, though, were well ahead of their competitors from the Caribbean. The world record timing of 3:09.34 was 2.44 seconds better than the runners-up.
Felix won her first gold in World Championships at the 2005 event in Helsinki, Finland in the 200m event. She then grabbed three more golds in the 2007 edition held in Osaka, Japan. Two more golds at Berlin, Germany in the 2009 World Championships took her tally to six.
Her next two golds at this level came in two relay events of 2011 World Championships held in Daegu, South Korea. 2013 edition saw her return empty-handed but in 2015, she added one more titles to her kitty by winning the 400m race.
In the last edition of the bi-annual event in London, she won two more relay golds to take her tally to 11 – on parity with Usain Bolt. Now, she is ahead of the legendary Jamaican sprinter. What is even more remarkable is the fact that Allyson has made a successful comeback despite going through a very difficult childbirth procedure.
Felix underwent an emergency C-section delivery in the 32nd week of pregnancy. This left her with preeclampsia of a severe nature and made even walking a tough task to perform. To comeback from such a situation and run 400 meters in 50.4 seconds is a monumental and inspirational achievement. She may repeat this feat in the next Olympics also.