By Earl Heath

Contributing Sports Writer

The world Track and Field Championships came to America for the first time ever. There was history and there was drama in Eugene, Oregon.  

Allyson Felix was a story then retired and became a story again. After winning a bronze in the 4×400 mixed relay on July 15th she became the first person to medal in eight world championships over 17 years -that’s another record. 

She announced her retirement and returned to Los Angeles. It was soon after that track coach Bobby Kersee asked her to run a leg in a 4×400 preliminary race. 

“Of course, I was ready,” said Felix. I had no plans to be back here for the rest of the meet.” The U.S. ran the fastest qualifying time of 3 minutes 23.38 seconds. 

Felix’s 11 Olympic medals make her the most decorated U.S track and field athlete in history. 

“It wasn’t to big of a shock,” said leadoff runner Taliitha Diggs. “But since she had retired and for her to come back it was like this is going to be cool.”  

The U.S. upset Jamaica in the finals. 

In other action Michael Norman of USC won the 400-meter gold medal with a time of 44.29. Norman regained prominence after placing fifth in Tokyo and not even competing at the 2019 games due to an injury. 

He became the first American to win the event since LaShawn Merritt in 2013. 

“He’s in a championship atmosphere and he rose to the occasion,” said his coach Qiuncy Watts. “When there’s a healthy Mike Norman, I put my money on Mike” 

Noah Lyles went wire to wire in leading a U.S. sweep in the 200 meters. He ran a blistering 19.31 which is the third fastest time ever.  

Lyles beat teammates Kenny Bednarek by 0.46 and while 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton came in third. The two fastest times are Usain Bolt’s 19.19 in 2009 and fellow Jamaican Yohan Black 19.26 in 2011. 

Initially when the race was over the clock read 19.32., it then adjusted down 0.01 giving him the American record set by Michael Johnson in 1996. 

“I saw the time pop up and I tied Michael Johnson record,” said Lyles. “Then when it went down from two to one ,my whole world changed.”