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It has been more than six years since the 35-year-old Allyson Felix set her 400m personal best at 49.26. It was during the Beijing 2015 World Athletics Championships when she ran that time for the gold medal, one of 12 world championships golds and one of 17 worlds medals.
She has also earned seven Olympic gold medals and four others including bronze during the Tokyo Olympic Games in the time of 49.46, three weeks ago. One thing about the American is she knows how to win medals.
Her personal best is only the 86 fastest time in history — doesn’t sound that dominating at first glance. One could argue global championships are a different game than professional meets like the Diamond League. Well, she earned a bronze Sunday during the Paris Diamond League meet clocking a strong 50.47, behind Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic with her clocking of 50.12 and second-place finisher Sada Williams of Barbados who recorded a 50.30 time. She didn’t make the final, however, Paulino took the silver medal in the time of 49.20 in Tokyo.
There are three more opportunities that Felix could race before she retires during the Diamond League with upcoming meets in Brussels, Zurich, and Rabat.
Other notes from Paris
Canadian, Marco Arop, didn’t make it three consecutive first-place finishes in the Diamond League — twice he beat Tokyo medallists in Eugene and Lausanne, but three times was not quite the charm, however, he did earn a third-place finish in the time of 1:44.76.
Wyclife Kinyamal of Kenya took the win in the time of 1:43.94, while Ferguson Rotich also of Kenya took second, clocking a 1:44.45. Rotich also earned the silver medal in Tokyo on August 4 in the time of 1:45.23.
Francine Niyonsaba won the women’s 3000m race in the time of 8:19.08. She looked easy doing it. It appeared that she could have run much faster. The performance is a world-leading time for 2021. It is also a meet record and the national record of Burundi.
In 2019, it was revealed that Niyonsaba was born with the 46, XY karyotype and an intersex condition after her qualification for World Athletics Championships. Like Caster Semenya from South Africa, the testosterone levels are naturally produced at a level that non-intersex athletes would have to use performance-enhancing drugs to meet.
Ejgkayehu Taye of Ethiopia tried in vain to make a race of it, coming up on Niyonsaba’s shoulder during the final lap — nothing doing. She settled for second in the time of 8:19.52, while Margaret Kipkemboi finished third in 8:21.53.
Niyonsaba owns seven national records and one national best time. She has demonstrated unusual range having clocked a world-class 800m time of 1:55.47 the 49th fastest performance all-time at the other end of the scale she owns a 10,000m best of 30:41.93, good enough for a fifth-place finish in Tokyo.