Bahamian 400-meter sprinter Shaunae Miller had the lead but thought a leap of faith — rather, a dive — would help her hold off American Allyson Felix.
Diving across the finish line, Miller defeated Felix with a final time of 49.44 seconds on Monday to win gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Because a runner’s final time is decided by when their torso first crosses the finish line, it was possible Miller’s dive — a legal one, for what it’s worth — wasn’t needed as she finished 0.07 seconds ahead of Felix.
But whether it was needed or not doesn’t matter.
Felix, in earning the silver medal, still made history by becoming the most decorated women’s track and field athlete in United States history, passing Jackie Joyner-Kersee to earn a seventh medal.
More painfully, however, was the fact that Felix fell short in the U.S. trails in July by failing to qualify in the 200-meter event.
That defeat, coincidentally, also came courtesy of a diving competitor. At the trials, Felix finished in fourth place behind Jenna Prandini by 0.01 seconds.
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