Allyson Felix stayed on the track for a long time on Friday night after finishing the 400-meter race.
She fell on her back after peering up at the scoreboard and seeing her name behind those of Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas and Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic.
Allyson Felix, Lane 9, third place, 49.46.
She had done it. Ten Olympic medals.
When asked if her reaction — lying on the track, staring at the sky — was exhaustion or emotion, she said it was “probably a combination.”
She has competed in so many 400-meter races in so many places over so many years. It always hurts, she said. On Friday, the pain was diluted by joy.
She had tied Carl Lewis as the most decorated American athlete in track and field. She had run her second fastest time ever, faster than her silver medal performance at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
And she had done so on her terms: as a mother, an activist and an entrepreneur.