By Nick Mulvenney
LONDON (Reuters) - Allyson Felix once said she would never get over not winning the 200 metres title as favorite at the Beijing Olympics four years ago but three golds and a world record in London have gone a long way to easing the pain.
The 26-year-old American won her third gold in the 4x400 metres relay on Saturday evening having already clinched the 200m individual title and helped the 4x100m team smash a 27-year-old world record.
"It's just funny thinking about Beijing and how everything was left off there," Felix, who won 200m silver in Athens and Beijing, told a news conference on Saturday.
"It happened for a reason and it motivated me and kept me passionate and striving for my goals and stuff. I couldn't have asked for a greater Olympics.
"I just feel so blessed and this is just such an awesome way to round it off running the 4x400m on the last night, it just couldn't have been better."
The 4x400m team of Dee Dee Trotter, Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross came up short in their bid to break the world record set at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 by the Soviet Union.
With the fact that so many of the women's sprint records were tainted by suspicion of doping in the 1980s, Felix said she felt the modern athletes were getting closer.
"We don't want to put judgment on any one, because we don't know all the facts, but that's what made last night so special because we finally put a world record next to our names," she said.
"But all we can do is keep giving it our all and edging inch closer towards it."
Trotter was convinced the 4x400m record would have gone had the team not had such exhausting schedules at the Games, with Felix doubling in the 100 and 200 and Richards-Ross in the 200 and 400.
"This world record, if any squad can do it, this is the squad that can do it," said the 400m bronze medalist who once again wore her glittery facial "war paint" in the race.
"I consider this to be the Dream Team of the 400 and I think we can do it. We were on dead legs and to still be able to run 3.16.87 was phenomenal.
"We were definitely gunning for the record and it's on our checklist of things to do."
Felix said she had been inspired by American gymnastics gold medalist Dominique Dawes when she watched the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
"I reflect back to watching Dominique Dawes when I was young and being absolutely fascinated," she said.
"Just to know that there are young girls at home watching us, it is the coolest thing ever so I think we just try to have great performances and hopefully we can inspire them and empower them and the next generation can get out there and do it."
Richards-Ross, who also won the 400m individual gold, said success for the American women at these Games had in part been down to a better atmosphere in the team, with the more experienced runners taking the rookies under their wings.
"When I first came to the village, I knew something special was going to happen at these Games," she said.
"There was great energy among our team and we all encouraged each other."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)