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MOSCOW, August 16 (R-Sport) – As Bob Marley’s refrain “Let’s get together and feel alright” blared over the sound system, everything wasn’t alright for Allyson Felix.
The American sprinter, winner of four straight medals at the world athletics championships and the reigning Olympic gold medalist, was cradled in the arms of her brother, unable to walk, wiping away tears.
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, meanwhile, paraded around the track at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium draped in her country's flag, her pink hair extensions – her trademark of sorts over the past seven days here – bouncing to the same track in the cool evening air, that familiar ebullient smile glued to her face after winning the 200 meters on Friday with characteristic ease.
The dissonance was palpable and, in more ways than one, distressing: Fraser-Pryce paid no attention to the injured Felix, her only real challenger in the race, who was carried off in to Luzhniki’s bowels followed by teammates Jeneba Tarmoh and ChaRonda Williams, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
It was Fraser-Pryce's moment, of course – the pay-off, she said afterward, of "a lot of sacrifice and commitment and dedication."
Felix tore a right hamstring near the end of the turn – she slowed first, grimaced, then fell to the track – but in a split second it changed the nature of one of the most anticipated showdowns of these championships. Fraser-Pryce, who won silver in London last year, had outpaced Felix throughout the season, even running a world-leading 22.13.
"That was very unfortunate," Fraser-Pryce said of the injury. "It is so unfortunate that this happened. We pray that she will be healthy soon."
On Friday, she needed a 22.17 to dispatch the nine-strong field, clearing the finish line with no contest in front of the Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure, who claimed silver, and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare, who took bronze. Both had official times of 22.32.
"It hasn't been easy," Okagbare said. "To get a medal wasn't an easy task, but I'm really happy I'm going home with something. I feel blessed."
Fraser-Pryce, who took the 200-meter title from her suspended countrywoman Veronica Campbell-Brown, won the 100-meter gold earlier in the week. Jamaica now has four medals in the championships and will look to sweep the individual sprinting events when 100-meter champ Usain Bolt runs in the 200-meter final on Saturday.
Until Friday, Felix had not missed a worlds podium since 2003. She won gold in 2005, 2007 and 2009 and bronze in 2011. This is the first time an American has not medaled in the women's 200 meters since 1999.
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