Allyson Felix into Olympic Trials 200m final behind world’s fastest in 2021
Allyson Felix wanted to run the 200m and the 400m at the 2016 Olympics, but missed out by .01 after a pre-Olympic Trials injury.
Now, after childbirth and at age 35, she could make the U.S. team in both events for her last Olympics, granted she may drop one of them.
Felix qualified third fastest into Saturday’s 200m final at Trials in Eugene, Oregon, five days after making the team in the 400m. The top three make the team in the 200m.
Felix ran 22.20 seconds out of lane nine, her fastest 200m since 2016. Gabby Thomas and Jenna Prandini (who edged Felix by .01 in the 2016 Olympic Trials for the last 200m spot) won the semifinal heats in 21.94 and 21.99 seconds, respectively. They are the fastest women in the world this year.
Felix was followed by Anavia Battle (22.32), Tamara Clark (22.35) and Dezerea Bryant (22.37).
In finals Friday, Hillary Bor, Benard Keter and Mason Ferlic made the team in the 3000m steeplechase. Olympic silver medalist Evan Jager withdrew before Trials after leg muscle tears. In the discus, Mason Finley, Reggie Jagers and Sam Mattis, the top three U.S. men in this Olympic cycle, made the team.
The 200m and 400m overlap in Tokyo. Felix has not said what her plan is if she makes the team in the 200m to go with the 400m, but it’s expected that she would choose one or the other. Felix did not speak with media, outside of short TV interviews, after her 200m first round on Thursday or her semifinal on Friday.
Felix is also set to race the 4x400m relay in Tokyo, plus possibly the mixed-gender 4x400m, no matter if she chooses the 200m or the 400m.
Felix has called the 200m “her baby.” In 2004, she made her first Olympic team at age 18 strictly in the 200m. In 2012, she won her lone individual Olympic title in the 200m.
She has been primarily a 400m runner since tearing her right hamstring in the 2013 World Championships 200m final.
She attempted to make the 2016 Olympic team in both the 200m and the 400m, but missed the 200m team by .01, three months after tearing right ankle ligaments. She took 400m silver in Rio.
Earlier, 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton lowered his U18 record in the 200m by posting the fastest first-round time of 20.04 seconds, beating world champion Noah Lyles in his heat. Lyles and the rest of the contenders advanced to Saturday’s semifinals.
Knighton turned 17 in January, just after he turned pro while a junior at Tampa Hillsborough High School. He can become the second-youngest American man to compete in track and field at the Olympics in 120 years after miler Jim Ryun in 1964, according to Olympedia.org.
On May 31, he broke Usain Bolt‘s U18 200m record of 20.13 by clocking 20.11. Bolt still owns the fastest 200m for a 17-year-old, 19.93 in April 2004, four months before he turned 18. Athletes can register U18 records through the calendar year that they turn 17.
Raevyn Rogers and Ajee’ Wilson, the world silver and bronze medalists, and 19-year-old phenom Athing Mu were among the qualifiers into Sunday’s women’s 800m final.
Rio gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz won his 1500m semifinal heat in a finishing duel with fellow Oregon Duck Cole Hocker. The rest of the favorites also made Sunday’s final, but not 18-year-old Hobbs Kessler.
Dalilah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin, the two fastest women in history in the 400m hurdles, won their first-round heats.
World champion Grant Holloway led the qualifiers into Saturday’s 110m hurdles semifinals.
World silver medalist Rai Benjamin won his 400m hurdles semifinal heat ahead of Saturday’s final.
In long jump qualifying, 2012 Olympian and NFL wide receiver Marquise Goodwin finished 19th, failing to make Sunday’s 12-man final. Olympic gold medalist Jeff Henderson and the rest of the favorites advanced.
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