Better than Usain Bolt? Allyson Felix has a chance of becoming the greatest ever in Tokyo Olympics
Allyson Felix has the chance of becoming the greatest ever in Tokyo, can she do it? And does that make her better than Usain Bolt?
Tokyo Olympics will be the first of its kind where the fastest man on the planet will not participate. Usain Bolt has dominated the sprint races for the last 3 Olympics, winning 8 Olympic gold medals and gold at 100m and 200 m races at three consecutive Olympics.
Other than that, he also won 4*100 relay gold medals. His' shooting to fame' moment was his double sprint victory in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, making him the first person to hold both records since fully automatic time became mandatory.
He also has 11 gold medals at World Athletics Championships, the most by any man participating in those events. Thus, it is only apparent that the Olympics with him might seem a tad bland. To make matters worse, the island nation of Jamaica, once renounced for producing World Class sprinter, seems to have run out of gas and has not produced any great stars since him.
However, do not be alarmed; we have another athlete, who is, if not better, as good as the flying Bolt- Alyson Felix.
The other Flash on the block:
The sprinter from the USA will be entering her sixth Olympics this season, and she is as fast as ever and rearing to go. She has 9 Olympic medals to her name and is one of the most decorated women in the field and track event record. As a part of the U.S. women's relay teams, Felix has won five more Olympic gold medals: three in the 4 x 400 meters (2008-2016) and two in the 4 x 100 meters (2012 and 2016).
The 2012 U.S. Olympic 4 x 100-meter relay team also break a 27-year-old world record in the women's 4 x 100-meter relay at the London Olympics, which they still hold. Most importantly, it was only in 2019 that she broke Bolt's record to win 12 gold medals in World Championships. Naturally, a comparison is drawn between the two as to who is the better athlete.
Frankly, there is no way to tell because how can you even begin to compare two stalwarts of the game against each other. However, if she manages to win 3 more medals in her 3 events in Tokyo, she will be the most successful track and field athlete across genders jointly with Bolt.
Felix's personal best in the 200 meters is 21.69 seconds, which places her sixth all-time. In 2013, she ran 16.36 seconds to break the world record for the rarely contested 150 meters race.
She ran the fastest split ever by an American woman in the 4 x 400 meters relay at the 2015 World Championships, and the third-fastest split ever after record-holders Jarmila Kratochvilova and Marita Koch, with 47.72 and given the way she ran at the 2019 championships, she might as well win the three medals.
She finished second in 400 metres at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic trials on June 2021. As the race was drawing to a close, Felix was in fourth place, but she narrowly caught two opponents ahead of her to set a season-best time of 50.02 seconds. It can very well be expected of her to better her timings and thus, bag three more medals.
However, Felix's remarkable belief is that she broke Bolt's record of Championship gold medals only a year after giving birth to her daughter. It is no secret that the female body changes after pregnancy, and it is always a challenge for female athletes to get into the groove after giving birth, and though it seemed like a stroll in the park for the new mom, it was far from it.
She had a difficult birth where she had to undergo an emergency C-section at 32 weeks, and the baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit for a month—mustering the courage both physically and mentally to get back to the gym and working on oneself, after such an emotional ordeal is commendable in itself.
Nevertheless, as Felix said in an interview herself, "Man, it has been a fight to get here. And one thing I know how to do is fight."
With this mentality, she will be looking to compete in Tokyo to get her record squared with Bolt and regardless of whether she manages to succeed, she shall remain a hero and a national treasure.