USA’s most-decorated female athlete Allyson Felix has decided to postpone her retirement as the 36-year-old will race in the preliminaries of the Women’s 4x400m relay at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Eugene. Having announced that the 4x400m mixed relay race last week would be her last major race, Felix was all set to end her career on a high with as many as 30 medals.
Felix revealed that she could not turn down when the coaches asked if she would be available for the prelims race. “The coaches asked if I was available and there was no way I’d turn the team down,” the 36-year-old said through an email with The Associated Press. “When I got the call, I locked in and refocused,” Felix added.
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) July 23, 2022
A week ago, Felix ran the second leg on the 4×400 mixed relay squad in what she said would be her last event. Since then, she’s had a few speaking engagements and attended The ESPYS in Los Angeles. She’s back for another appearance at Hayward Field. The third-place finish in the mixed relay gave Felix her 19th medal at the world championships, extending a record she already held. Adding in her 11 Olympic medals brings the total to an even 30.
“I felt a lot of love out there and it was cool. I wasn’t sure what to expect, you know, running at home, but it met every expectation. I think it’s the first time I heard the crowd while I was running and I didn’t expect that. It was really cool and I just felt a lot of love from a lot of people. It was an emotional day,” Felix said after the win.
At the Tokyo Olympics last year, she was on the gold-medal women’s 4×400 relay as part of a “dream team” with Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, and Athing Mu. The foursome extended the American’s gold-medal winning streak in the event to seven at the Olympics.