LONDON: American Phyllis Francis won a surprise World Championships 400 meters gold on Wednesday as Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo inexplicably stumbled when seemingly certain of victory in an extraordinary finale.
Francis looked out of the medals with 80 meters to go but maintained her form amid the carnage to post a personal best time of 49.92 seconds and take a shock gold that even after crossing the line she had no idea she had won.
“I am so excited. It is such an amazing feeling, being world champion sounds pretty cool,” said Francis, who finished fifth in the Rio Olympic final but took a gold in the 4 x 400m relay.
Felix’s bronze took her world championship medal haul to 14, matching the record of Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Merlene Ottey. The American’s tally includes nine golds and she could not disguise her frustration at not making it 10 – though she still has the 4x400m relay to come.
“I can’t lie, I’m disappointed to lose one gold tonight but the championships is not over yet so we keep going,” Felix said.
“But this was the one that mattered to me, the individual race, that is what it is about. So to come up short tonight is never fun. But I am happy for my team mate. At this level, you cannot under-estimate anyone.”