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Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty
Allyson Felix has raced into the sunset.
The 36-year-old sprinter officially retired from the track after helping the United States win bronze in the mixed 4×400-meter relay at the World Track and Field Championships on Friday night.
"I felt the love," Felix told reporters after the race, held in the U.S. for the first time in Eugene, Oregon, according to ESPN. "And I felt joy running tonight."
Felix, the most decorated sprinter in United States history, now has 19 career medals at World Championships to go along with the 11 she earned at five Olympic Games.
Despite not having won gold in the final race of her career, Felix compared the bronze win — alongside relay teammates Elija Godwin, Vernon Norwood and Kennedy Simon — to the one she earned in the women's 400 at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
"It's a similar emotion," she said, per the Washington Post.
"The last couple years, I've stepped outside of the clock, the medals," the mom to 3-year-old daughter Camryn explained. "I never would have imagined that that would have been a place I would come to. But I have. It's being a representation for women, mothers, and I really felt that. It was an emotional day. I felt it all over from people telling me and messages. I feel really proud tonight. I feel fulfilled."
Felix first announced her plans to retire in April with an Instagram post where she told fans she'd given the sport everything she had.
"As a little girl they called chicken legs, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined I'd have a career like this," Felix wrote. "I have so much gratitude for this sport that has changed my life. I have given everything I have to running and for the first time I'm not sure if I have anything left to give."
She continued: "I want to say goodbye and thank you to the sport and people who have helped shape me the only way I know how—with one last run," she continued. "This season isn't about the time on the clock, it's simply about joy. If you see me on the track this year I hope to share a moment, a memory and my appreciation with you."
Felix said she was dedicating her final season to "women" and to her daughter Camryn, whom she welcomed in 2018 with her husband, Kenneth Ferguson.
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Along with Felix and her teammates' bronze medal, shot putter Chase Ealey became the first American woman to win gold on Saturday. And the next day, American athletes swept the men's shot put event, with Ryan Crouser earning gold and Joe Kovacs and Josh Awotunde taking silver and bronze, respectively.
"We've talked about a Team USA sweep for a long time in the shot put, we've known it was possible because we've been so dominant in the event," Crouser told reporters after the historic sweep on Sunday night, the outlet said. "It was an honor to be a part of it."