Allyson Felix, the most decorated track runner in world championship history with 16 career medals, made a very respectable comeback yesterday at the USATF Outdoor Championships yesterday, finishing sixth in the 400m final, qualifying her for the 4x400m relay pool for the 2019 world championships at Doha. It will be her 13th world championships.
Racing this weekend was much bigger than me. About so much more than my story. In the face of obstacles it’s so important to never give up. Reminded of that this past year more than ever. Grateful for my health. Thankful for my family. Humbled & appreciative of all the support🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/UU3hVrU8lj
— Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix) July 28, 2019
Felix ran 51.94s in her first race back since having her baby last November. She made headlines a few months ago when she openly criticized her sponsor, Nike, for not supporting women athletes who choose to start a family, and followed that up with testifying before the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee on the maternal mortality crisis. Though she had excellent healthcare and was in top physical condition, Felix suffered serious complications during her pregnancy and underwent an emergency C-section at 32 weeks. She spent the next few months with her baby in the NICU before going public with her story in December 2018. Felix is still without a contract, and raced unattached this weekend.
Mom strength on the track is the theme- way to go @ItsPooda – cruising onto team USA a year after baby # 2 🙌🏻 🏃🏾♀️🇺🇸
— Molly Huddle (@MollyHuddle) July 27, 2019
Felix wasn’t the only mom commanding attention on the track this weekend. Nia Ali, who had her second baby last year, took second place in the women’s 100m hurdles, securing herself a berth on the American world championship team with a season’s best 12.55s. (The baby’s father is Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, who finished second in the 100m at the Canadian nationals this weekend.)
Nikki Hiltz reacts to her 4:03.55 third place finish in the 1500m final! pic.twitter.com/t5itwf473x
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) July 27, 2019
In the women’s 1,500m, defending champion Shelby Houlihan surged ahead of the much-decorated Jenny Simpson for the win, in 4:03.18 to Simpson’s 4:03.41. Nikki Hiltz, who has spoken openly about being a member of the LGBTQ community, finished third in 4:03.55, making her first US world team.
When Jenny Simpson made her first Worlds team, Nikki Hiltz had just finished 6th grade.
Today, Simpson was the first to congratulate Hiltz on making it to Worlds.
“She’s like, ‘You’re going to Doha!’ It’s my childhood hero, we’re diving at the line together. It’s just unreal.” pic.twitter.com/3Mxbsbqvwl
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) July 27, 2019
Tonight sees the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final, with former American record-holder and 2017 champion Emma Coburn going up against current record-holder Courtney Frerichs, NCAA champion Allie Ostrander and indoor mile champion Colleen Quigley. We’ll also be watching the men’s 5,000m, with Paul Chelimo.