Felix exchanges silver lining for pure gold as U.S. track has field day

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 08, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

LONDON -- For Allyson Felix, Wednesday offered a first. Finally.

Felix finally beat Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown in a 200-meter Olympic race, finally winning a long-awaited, much-anticipated gold in her signature event.

"It's been a long road," said Felix, who finished in 21.88 seconds. "I never wanted to give up. It's been a long journey -- never easy -- but you can't lose sight of your dream. It's just awesome. I've wanted it for so long. This moment is really priceless."

Team USA seemed destined to disappoint in track and field before Felix, Aries Merritt and Brittney Reese saved the day. Off to a slow start -- on pace for only 20 medals after five days of competition -- the U.S. won seven of 12 possible medals in the four events that had finals Wednesday.

Merritt won the men's 110 hurdles, and Reese the women's long jump.

The Americans, who won a disappointing 23 medals in the sport in Beijing and had a goal of 30 for London, now have 20 with 18 finals remaining.

"It let's me know that America has the Moves Like Jagger in track and field," Jason Richardson, the silver medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, said in reference to the popular Maroon 5 song. "In American sports, ours is one of the better ones that we have. China has diving, but we definitely have track and field."

To the victors go the spoils. Or at least, that's the way it's supposed to work.

Felix, though, had reaped the spoils before the victory.

That is part of the problem for track and field, which has fallen behind swimming in popularity in the U.S. It is a sport without a proven star, like a Michael Phelps, who has gold medals to go with his charisma.

Felix certainly has done more in the sport than hurdler Lolo Jones, who was ripped in a New York Times article this week for being more style than substance. Jones has become a recognizable name despite not having an Olympic or a world outdoor championship medal.

Felix at least has three world championships on her résumé, but America has been waiting for her to bring home an Olympic gold medal since she was an overhyped teenager.

She has an estimated net worth of $8.5 million, but Gatorade, Visa, AT&T, P&G and Nike, among others, signed her to deals more for her good looks, her self-proclaimed "nice-girl" image and her potential than what she had done on track's biggest stage.

Now, at least, she has one individual Olympic gold.

Felix had finished 0.13 behind Campbell-Brown at the Athens Games in 2004 and 0.17 back of her rival four years later in Beijing. Felix had said she would give all three of her world championship victories over Campbell-Brown in exchange for just one of Campbell-Brown's Olympic gold medals.

"To lose to her twice in the Olympic Games has been tough," Felix said. "But she's not like a horrible person, so it's hard to hate her or anything like that. It's just more of when we get in the races together, we push each other."

Campbell-Brown was only fourth Wednesday. Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a two-time Olympic 100-meter champion, won the silver in 22.09, with American Carmelita Jeter finishing third in 22.14. It was the second medal for Jeter, who won the silver in the 100.

Former University of Texas runner Sanya Richards-Ross, who won the 400 on Sunday, was fifth in 22.39.

Richards-Ross was asked not once, but twice, about Felix's breakthrough.

"You didn't hear me the first time?" Richards-Ross asked, mildly irritated, after a repeat question about Felix.

There is a first time for everything, and Felix had hers Wednesday.

Charean Williams

817-390-7760

Twitter: @NFLCharean

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Kansas City 10/25 8:07 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Four. Kansas City leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Buffalo «2Final | Box
San Jose1
Boston 10/25 7:00 PM ET
Toronto TV: NHLN, CBC, NESN
NY Rangers01st Prd 19:50 | Box
Montreal0TV: CITY TV, MSG, TVA Sports
New Jersey 10/25 7:00 PM ET
Ottawa TV: SN1, MSG+2
Dallas01st Prd 15:44 | Box
NY Islanders0TV: FSN-SW, MSG+
Detroit01st Prd 14:25 | Box
Philadelphia0TV: FSN-DET, CSN-PHI
Chicago 10/25 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FX-CA, WGN, FSN-MW
Pittsburgh 10/25 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-TN
Tampa Bay 10/25 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: SUN, FSN-N
Florida 10/25 9:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: FSN-FL, FSN-AZ
Washington 10/25 10:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC
Full Scoreboard