Trojans In The Olympics: Allyson Felix Wins First Gold Medal In 200m


Trojan Alumnus Allyson Felix left no doubt as she crossed the finished line as the clear winner in the 200 meter, earning the gold medal in an individual event for the first time in her career. Whoever said, “Third time’s the charm” knew exactly what they were talking about.

For two consecutive Olympics in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, Felix fell short of winning gold, coming in second both times to Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown. Each time—including these London 2012 Games—Felix entered the 200m finals as the favorite to win, and it did not happen. In London, Felix had a date with destiny, and destiny obliged her.

When the gun went off Felix burst out of the blocks in lane seven and swiftly moved through the curve, slightly behind Jamaica’s Shelly Ann Frazier-Price, who was coming off a two-time gold medal winning performance in the 100m. Felix got an excellent slingshot out of the curve, and really kicked it into overdrive down the home stretch. It would be enough, as Felix coasted to gold with a time of 21.88. A huge smile filled her face; she could finally add a gold medal in this race to her extensive resume.

Frazier-Price earned the silver in the 200m, and fellow American sprinter Carmelita Jeter—who took the bronze in the 100m earlier in the Olympics—joined Felix on the winner’s podium.

The road to London 2012 had a major road bump for Felix during the Olympic trials, due to the controversy surrounding the result of the 100m. She and Janeba Tarmoh finished the race in a dead heat. When tasked with choosing between a run-off and a coin flip, Tarmoh eventually conceded to Felix, who then by default earned the last roster stop in the 100m for London. Felix ended up placing fifth in the race on Monday night.

With this gold, Felix now has four total medals, having earned two silvers in the 200m and one gold as a member of the 2008 4x400m relay team. Her final medal event could the 4x100m relay on Aug. 9, another event where Team USA and Jamaica will undoubtedly face off.

Before Felix won gold in the 200, Jamaica had been dominating sprints, winning seven of eight events, including relays.

Other Trojans In the Olympics:

Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, after surging through the Olympics to earn an unexpected spot in the finals, became another pair of Trojans to medal in London. They faced off against fellow Americans—and legends in beach volleyball—Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings in the gold medal match. The Trojans could not stop May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings and were swept 2-0. They will bring home the silver medal, which went above and beyond the expectations laid before them at the outset of the Olympics. For May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings, they became the first to three-peat gold medals in Olympic beach volleyball history, winning 21 straight games dating back to Athens 2004.

On the men’s sports front, Wednesday was not a good day for the Trojans.

The men’s volleyball team, featuring Trojan Donald Suxho came to the end of their Olympic road Wednesday when they got swept 3-0 by the Italian team. Australian water polo players Joel Dennerly and James Clark saw their Olympics journey come to an end as well when Serbia bested the Australians, 11-8. The American team and Shea Buckner—who won gold in Beijing in 2008—shockingly got handled by Croatia, losing 8-2 in the quarterfinals.

With medals from Felix, Kessy and Ross, USC’s medal count now stands at: 5 gold, 4 silver, and 4 bronze for a total of 13.

Action picks back up Wednesday, with Trojans competing in the 800m final, the sprint relays, the gold medal matches for women’s soccer, women’s water polo and women’s volleyball.