Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Taking a Dive

Allyson Felix, already the most decorated female American Olympic athlete in track and field, was a moment away from a fifth career gold medal in the women's 400-meter race.  She lost it when Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas suddenly leaped out over the finish line and crossed it first by landing on it.
Miller apparently forgot that she was a track runner and not a diver.  
This was so unfair. Felix was in gold medal position; she should have won.  Miller made a last-minute move that was so underhanded, I stopped working on an freelance article for a moment just to go on Facebook and complain about it.  Even more people, I understand, complained about it on Twitter.
There's just one thing; what Miller did was legal.
Yes!  Apparently, Olympic track runners can hurl themselves over the line, provided they don't impede their competitors. And yes, Americans have done this too; David Neville won the bronze medal in the men's 400-meter race at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  Well, that wasn't fair, either, so don't accuse me of Yankee imperialism by making the case for Felix.  I heard she was tearful over the result - oh, great, now the press will call her a sore loser - and I, quite frankly, don't blame her for being upset.    
But at least she won the silver medal.
Some more good news: American Clayton Murphy won the bronze in the men's 800-meter race, while American Emma Coburn won the bronze in the women's 3000-meter (three-kilometer) steeplechase, the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in a steeplechase event. 

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