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U.S. Women Win 4x400, And Allyson Felix Becomes The Most Decorated U.S. Track Athlete

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Sydney McLaughlin, Allyson Felix, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu of Team United States celebrate winning the gold medal in the Women' s 4 x 400m Relay Final on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
U.S. runners (from left) Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad, Athing Mu and Allyson Felix celebrate winning the gold medal in the women's 4x400 meter relay at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

TOKYO — It wasn't even close. The U.S. women's 4x400 meter relay team won gold, beating the closest competition, Poland, by more than three and a half seconds. The gold medal for U.S. star Allyson Felix brings her Olympic medal total up to 11, making her the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete in history. With this medal, she surpassed the record of U.S. track legend Carl Lewis. Tokyo is her fifth Olympics."For me, I just came out really at peace and wanting to soak it all in," Felix said. "I think this is a really special team because we're not 400-meter runners — I don't consider myself a 400-meter specialist. We all do different things, and it was really cool to come together to get to close out the Olympic Games and for me, my Olympic career in this way."The U.S. was in the lead the entire race, starting out fast with 400-meter hurdles world record holder Sydney McLaughlin. Felix followed, maintaining the lead. Hurdles silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad opened it up, and 800-meter gold medalist Athing Mu closed out the race. Muhammed said she has been inspired by Felix her entire career. "I'm truly just honored to be part of this team with her, on her last Olympics. We're going to look back at this and think about how special this moment really was."Poland took silver and Jamaica won bronze.Felix has been an outspoken advocate for better support for athletes who are moms. "There have been so many women before me who had to stay silent about their fight, and so for me to be able to step out ... I think my daughter gave me the courage to do that," she said. "This has been going on for far too long, I hope we're really changing things now."NPR's Leila Fadel contributed to this report. Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.