Bahamas' Shaunae Dives To Gold In Women's 400M, Beats USA's Allyson Felix - uSports.org

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Bahamas’ Shaunae Dives To Gold In Women’s 400M, Beats USA’s Allyson Felix Full view

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 15: Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dives over the finish line to win the gold medal in the Women's 400m Final on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Bahamas’ Shaunae Dives To Gold In Women’s 400M, Beats USA’s Allyson Felix

In a desperate dive at the finish line, Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas captured the women’s 400 meters at the Rio Olympics on Monday, beating Team USA’s Allyson Felix. 

Bahamas’ Shaunae Dives To Gold In Women’s 400M, Beats USA’s Allyson Felix

Running in Lane 7 and leading down the stretch, Miller could apparently feel Felix closing in quickly on her. With four strides left, Miller lunged toward the finish line like a baseball player attempting to steal a base.

The move may have slightly slowed the 22-year-old Bahamian, but her torso crossed first, as required by the rules, and Miller claimed the gold medal with a final time of 49.44 seconds, her personal best.

Miller remained on the track, lying on her back until she was pronounced the champion in a photo finish. Felix, who was hoping to become the first woman to win five Olympic gold medals in track and field, finished second in 49.51.

The 30-year-old American seemed disappointed with her result, having hoped to win gold in both 200 and 400 meters. She did not qualify for the Olympic 200. She still has the opportunity to win gold in the 4×400 relay, which is scheduled to begin Friday.

Miller and her coach Lance Brauman both insisted her dive was unintentional. Brauman told reporters following the race: “She gave everything she had, and her legs gave out at the line.”

Even if her dive had been intentional, however, her finished would have been completely within the rules.

Last year at the world championships in Beijing, Felix defeated Miller to the line for gold by a more comfortable margin, 0.41 of a second.

Felix has become increasingly troubled by injuries, nonetheless.

Felix, easily recognizable in Lane 4 in her high compression socks, quickly moved up from third to second as Miller’s stride began to shorten. The American then surged alongside Miller as both closed on the line.

“What was in my mind was, I had to get a gold medal,” Miller said. “The next thing I knew, I was on the ground.”

Like her Bahamian rival, Felix also lied on the track for a long time as she attempted to recover.

Felix failed to qualify in the 200, missing out on the United States’ third spot when, while running on a sore ankle, she was defeated across the line by Jenna Prandini at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, last month.

Prandini also fell forward at the finish, and like Miller, she claimed her dive had not been intentional.

“But I’m happy that it happened because it got me third,” Prandini said at the time.

The fall can be rather painful, however, as an Olympic track is an abrasive surface.

“I’ve never done it before,” Miller said. “I have cuts and bruises, a few burns. It hurts.”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 15: Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dives over the finish line to win the gold medal in the Women’s 400m Final on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

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Written by Pablo Mena

Writer and assistant editor for usports.org. NY Giants and Rangers fan. Film and TV enthusiast (especially Harry Potter and The Office) and lover of foreign languages and cultures.

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