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Shaunae Miller dives at the line to win the 400; Allyson Felix takes silver

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 16-08-2016
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas, bottom, dives across the finish line to win gold in the 400 meters ahead of American Allyson Felix, top. © Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas, bottom, dives across the finish line to win gold in the 400 meters ahead of American Allyson Felix, top.

Even as she dealt with the aftereffects of a lingering ankle injury and a disappointing turn through last month’s U.S. team trials, there was no stopping Allyson Felix from reaching the medal podium. It was not the medal she wanted, however.

Shaunae Miller of Bahamas dove across the line to claim gold in the 400 meters in 49.44 seconds, .07 ahead of Felix (49.51), who nonetheless earned her seventh career Olympic medal.

Felix, the reigning world champion at 400, was trailing as they came out of the curve. She gained steadily through the stretch on Miller, who started fast and struggled to maintain. They rain stride for stride as the line approached, and then Felix leaned as the textbook tells you do to do. Miller dove.

The dive did the trick.

But not before an agonising 20 seconds of waiting before the final results were posted. Miller laye on her back, writhing in agony, Felix sat on the ground stone-faced.

Finally the result appeared: Miller 1, Felix 2.

Felix was in tears after the race. "I really wanted it," she said.

Shericka Jackson (49.85) of Jamaica took bronze. The other Americans, Natasha Hastings and Phyllis Francis, finished fourth and fifth.

The seventh medal makes her the most decorated female track athlete in the USA’s Olympic history, breaking her tie with Jackie Joyner-Kersee. Kersee’s husband, Bob, is Felix’s longtime coach.

It was her first Olympic 400, though Felix won gold medals as part of the USA’s 4x400 relay in Beijing in 2008 and in London four years later.

She has been an Olympic star for a decade, and she had enough pull to get the Games to adjust the schedule so she could attempt a 200-400 double. 

But an injury slowed her training in the spring, and she came up just short of making the U.S. team in the 200 — coincidentally when Jenna Prandini dove across the line to lock up the last spot in the 200.

Contributing: The Associated Press

VIDEO: Shaunae Miller's dive at the line

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