Aug 6, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Allyson Felix (USA) celebrates winning the bronze medal with Quanera Hayes (USA) in the women's 400m final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Olympic Stadium.

Quanera Hayes, the Gray’s Creek graduate from Hope Mills, capped her Olympics experience with a seventh-place finish in the championship finals of the women’s 400-meter in the Tokyo Summer Games. She ran a 50.88, well off her 49.81 she ran in the semifinals.

The race will be televised during NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage Friday night in the United States.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas became just the second woman to ever defend her Gold Medal in the women’s 400m, winning with a personal best 48.36. Silver went to Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic, with a time of 49.20. Team USA legend Allyson Felix won the Bronze in 49.46 seconds.

Hayes was in Lane 2 for the finals (watch here), having not come into the finals as an automatic qualifier. That lane is always difficult to run from, as the pack can quickly get out in front of you.

Team USA has been strong in the Track & Field events, with 21 medals before today’s events, including five gold medals.

Hayes – competing in her first Olympic Games – is a 2010 Gray’s Creek graduate, and Hope Mills native. She won the U.S. Track and Field Championships, defeating Felix to make the Tokyo Games as the top American qualifier.

Previously, Hayes had advanced in the Tokyo Olympics with a strong automatic advance in the quarterfinals, and then made it through the semifinals with a blistering time in her heat.

Brandon Plotnick is a former sports journalist, now living in the digital space with interests all over the musical and pop culture map.