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Date
16 Aug 2016
Tags
RIO 2016 , IOC News , Athletics , Bahamas

Miller lunges to 400m victory in photo finish

In a thrilling women’s 400m final, Bahamian Shaunae Miller beat the USA’s Allysson Felix to gold with a last-gasp dive over the finish line.

Miller pipped four-time Olympic gold medallist Felix to the finish by the slimmest of margins in an excruciatingly tight race, and a reversal of the result at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. After crossing the line horizontally in a personal best time of 49.44, the 22-year-old Bahamian lay on the track, shaken up and exhausted, as she waited for the scoreboard to confirm her first major title.

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Miller started off strong, exploding out of the blocks in lane seven, her long stride enabling her to establish a good lead on the back straight. She attempted to pull away in the final bend, as Felix surged about 50 metres from the line. The pair were neck-and-neck until the Bahamian's gold medal-winning dive.

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“I didn't see anyone until the last 20 metres and the only thing I was thinking was that I must get that gold medal,” explained Miller. “I think the dive was just a reaction, my mind went blank, the next thing I knew I was lying on the ground. I’ve got a few cuts and bruises but I’m okay. This is the moment I have been waiting for, I just gave it my all. I am just so happy, so grateful, such emotions I just can't say. Everyone at home will all be celebrating right now.”

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Felix, who finished in 49.51, was also on the floor after finishing. “I wasn't quite sure who'd won, you never are when it's that close. It is always hard after a 400 and I was physically and emotionally drained,” admitted the American. “It's been a tough one and I really hoped it would come together tonight. I just gave it all I had, I don't think I had anything left to give. I really wanted it, it's painful.”

Jamaica's Shericka Jackson took bronze in 49.85. The 22-year-old said: “It was a great final, the best I've ever been in. At the age of 22 I'm an Olympic medalist, so I can't complain. It means a lot to me.”

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