Just 10 months after a difficult premature childbirth, Allyson Felix cemented her place in track and field history by winning a record 12th world title, breaking a tie with Usain Bolt.
Felix combined with Americans Michael Cherry, Wil London III and Courtney Okolo to run a time of 3 minutes, 9.34 seconds and win the first-ever mixed-gender 4x400-meter relay. Felix carried a 50.4-second split.
This caps off a tremendous comeback or Felix, the most decorated female track and field athlete in Olympic history. She’s had to deal with an emergency C-section to give birth to her daughter, Camryn, at 32 weeks and battled severe preeclampsia that prevented her from walking for weeks after the birth.
“(It’s) so special, to have my daughter here watching means the world to me,” Felix said, via NBC Sports. “It’s been a crazy year for me.”
In addition to her first mixed 4x400m title, she also has won three in the 200m, one in the 400m, three in the 4x100m and four in the 4x400m.
Felix has been outspoken about protecting pregnant athletes
The 33-year-old Felix only returned to racing this summer but has been outspoken about women’s rights in the mean time.
After separating from Nike when they offered her a 70 percent pay cut following her pregnancy, Felix has fought to make sure female athletes aren't punished for not performing or performing worse shortly after childbirth.
Plenty of athletes have criticized Nike for not ensuring maternity leave in the past, but Felix's platform as one of the premier female athletes in the world helped bring awareness to the subject and let other athletes earn fairer deals.
More history made by mothers
Felix wasn’t the only mother to compete in the world championships. Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 32, became the oldest woman to win a world 100m title, two years after giving birth.
Fraser-Pryce, who owns two Olympic golds and another eight golds at worlds, registered the fastest time in the world for any woman at 10.71 seconds, which topped Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith by .12 seconds.
The last time a mother won a 100m gold medal at the Olympics or worlds was Gwen Torrence, who won it at age 30 in 1995 at the world championships in Gothenburg.
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