LONDON — Phyllis Francis was left speechless after golden run in 400m final. “It happened so fast, Francis said. I told myself, top 3. Whatever happens the last 50 meters happens. I was focusing on my form and I didn’t even know I won until one of my friends started screaming, ‘You won!’ and I was like, ‘holy smokes!’
The women’s 400 was billed as a rematch of defending world champion Felix (Los Angeles) and Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, who famously dove at the finish line in Rio to take the gold.
Until the final 100m, it looked like that rematch was on. Felix went out well in lane 5 and made up the stagger on Francis (Queens, New York) in lane 6 roughly 150m into the race. Miller-Uibo also went out fast and came into the final stretch leading Felix by two strides when Felix, Francis and Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain all began closing. Miller suddenly broke stride with 20 m to go, favoring her left leg, as Francis surged to the win in a personal-best time of 49.92. Naser was second in a national record 50.06, and Felix was third in 50.08 to win her 14th medal in world championship competition. Miller-Uibo held on for fourth in 50.49.
Day 6 highlights…
A 1-3 finish by Phyllis Francis and Allyson Felix, combined with bronze medals from Rio Olympic champions Michelle Carter and Kerron Clement in cold, rainy and breezy conditions, gave Team USATF a four-medal evening and 15 medals thus far at the World Championships Wednesday night at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium.