American sprinter Allyson Felix made her fifth Olympic team on Sunday after placing second in an exciting 400m race at the U.S. Olympic trials. Now 35, Felix went to her first Games in 2004, and since then she has won nine Olympic medals, including six golds.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) June 21, 2021
This result was hard-fought for Felix, and there was a moment when it didn’t look like she would make it. She was in fourth place as the runners rounded the final bend, but in a dramatic finish, she managed to narrowly catch two of her competitors, finishing in second behind Quanera Hayes in a season’s best of 50.02 seconds. Wadeline Jonathas finished in third, and all three women have qualified for the Olympic team.
Not only will this be Felix’s fifth Games, but it will be her first as a mother. She gave birth to her daughter Carmyn in 2018, and since then she has spoken openly about her struggles during recovery and become a strong advocate for female athletes who are mothers. In a post-race interview with ESPN, Felix described how her daughter has influenced her training and mindset.
Quanera Hayes' son and @allysonfelix's daughter met after their moms qualified for the #TokyoOlympics. The moment speaks for itself.@usatf | #TokyoOlympics x #TrackFieldTrials21 pic.twitter.com/MCrlvJ7G9e
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) June 21, 2021
“I just wanted to really show her, no matter what, that you do things with character, integrity, and you don’t give up,” Felix said. “And to me, whether that was winning, losing, no matter the outcome, I wanted to stay consistent with that. Having her as motivation through these past couple of years has just given me a whole new drive.”
Felix is also set to compete in the 200m later this week, but scheduling conflicts in Tokyo will not allow her to run both races at the Games. Regardless, having now qualified for her fifth Olympic Games, Felix has proven that she has been, and still is, one of the most dominant track athletes the sport has ever seen.