Despite having been denied twice on the world's largest stage, Allyson Felix captured the Olympic gold medal she's been chasing, winning the 200 meters Wednesday night to fill the final hole in her otherwise outstanding resume.
Felix won the race in 21.88 seconds, beating Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by 0.21 second. American Carmelita Jeter finished third to win the bronze to go along with her silver in the 100 meters.
Finishing fourth was Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, who beat Felix in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and was attempting to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event in three straight Olympics.
Instead, it was three Americans who were celebrating their own 15 minutes of fame. Felix's victory was soon followed by Aries Merritt in the 110 hurdles and Brittney Reese in the long jump.
"Track and field is the best sport for Americans," said Jason Richardson, who finished second to Merritt in the hurdles on a day that saw American track and field competitors win seven medals. "We are always aware of what the medal count is. I know track and field can close that, let the world know the Americans are the best track and field country."
With 40 meters to go in her race, Felix dashed ahead of Fraser-Pryce and won easily, leaving no doubt.
Felix tied with Jeneba Tarmoh for third place in the 100-meter qualifying at the U.S. trials this summer. Their tie for the third and final spot in the 100 forced USA Track and Field officials to search for a solution. They decided to settle it with a run-off. But Tarmoh bowed out. Although Felix went on to finish fifth, she was never a serious medal contender for the 100, and had to defend her decision not to give up the spot.
"Everyone just expected me to give up this spot, because I think lots of people ... know me and they know that I'm seen as this very nice girl," Felix said. But it's not just about me."
However, on Wednesday night, it was. On two previous occasions Felix came into the Olympics either favored, or on even footing, against Campbell-Brown. Both times the American came up short, and the most recent time in Beijing, Felix fought off tears, calling it "déjà vu", and not in a positive way.
This time, there were no regrets.