September 29, 2019 / 8:56 PM / 21 days ago

Athletics: Felix takes 12th world title as U.S win first mixed relay

Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Mixed 4x400 Metres Relay Final - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - September 29, 2019 Allyson Felix of the U.S. competes REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

DOHA (Reuters) - Allyson Felix won her 12th world title, and her first since becoming a mother, as the United States claimed the inaugural world championship 4x400 meters mixed relay on Sunday.

In doing so, Felix, who won her first gold in 2005, overhauled Usain Bolt’s record of 11 world titles.

Felix ran the second leg as the U.S. team also featuring Wilbert London, Courtney Okolo and Michael Cherry won in three minutes 9.04 seconds — a world record for the new event — to finish ahead of Jamaica and Bahrain.

The team draped themselves in U.S. flags as they celebrated their win but, with barely any spectators in the Khalifa Stadium, went straight down the tunnel instead of completing a lap of honor.

Seven of the eight teams chose to run the first and fourth legs with men while Poland went for men in the first two legs and women in the last two.

That meant the Poles finished the second leg with a healthy lead which was cut back in the third leg and obliterated within the first 100 meters of the fourth as Justyna Swiety-Ersetic was overtaken by Cherry. Poland eventually finished fifth.

Felix, 33, has also won three world titles in the women’s 200 meters, one in the 400 meters, three in the women’s 4x100 meters relay and four in the women’s 4x400 meters relay.

Writing by Brian Homewood; additional reporting by Gene Cherry; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Pritha Sarkar

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