RIO 2016

Shaunae Miller dives to beat Allyson Felix in Olympics 400m final

Shaunae Miller dived across the finish line to deny Allyson Felix a fifth Olympic gold Monday, in a thrilling women’s 400-meter final at Rio 2016.

Bahamas-born Miller led going into the final straight and plunged over the line to beat Felix, the world champion, into second place, ahead of Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson in third.

Miller’s dive stirred some controversy on social media, though some prominent names in track and field came to her defense.

“Shaunae Miller’s dive was to recover from falling. Sprinters know the quickest way across the line is a well timed lean. Trust me on that,” former Olympian Michael Johnson tweeted.

Miller attended college at the University of Georgia, winning the 2013 NCAA indoor title, and the team there was quick to celebrate her victory.

But the unusual end to the race also sparked plenty of jokes, with Olympics fans suggesting Miller should try out for other sports teams where her diving ability could prove useful.

Felix, who won the 200-meter title in London four years ago, claimed her seventh Olympic medal in total with silver to become the most decorated female track and field athlete in history.

But the title she badly craved eluded her after a thrilling battle with Miller.

“I wanted to win,” Felix told reporters. “It’s been a tough year. I didn’t quite do enough.”

Miller, who came second behind Felix at last year’s world championships, went out fast from the start and dominated the opening 300m.

But 30-year-old Felix — competing at her fourth Olympics — began to force her way back and looked set to overhaul her younger opponent before Miller made an unorthodox move for the line.

“This is the moment I have been waiting for, I just gave it my all,” the 22-year-old told reporters after winning the island nation’s first medal of Rio 2016.

“I am just so happy, so grateful, such emotions I just can’t say.

“I’ve been going through so much this year. Everyone at home will all be celebrating right now.”

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