Allyson Felix to run 400m at World Championships
Allyson Felix will run the 400m and not the 200m at the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing in August, according to Reuters.
The last time Felix, 29, did not race the 200m at Worlds was 2001. She captured World titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Felix, also the Olympic 200m champion, qualified for both the 200m and 400m for Worlds but had said repeatedly this spring and summer that she would choose one because the 200m semifinals and 400m final are about one hour apart on Aug. 27.
Felix did run both races at the 2011 Worlds, taking 400m silver (in a personal-best time, beaten by .03 by Botswana’s Amantle Montsho in her personal best; Montsho is currently serving a doping ban) and 200m bronze. She had two days between races then.
The Rio 2016 Olympic schedule calls for the women’s 400m final to go off 75 minutes after the start of the first round of the women’s 200m. It’s not as tough as August’s Worlds, but it’s a departure from London 2012, when there was a day off between the 400m and 200m.
Felix’s coach, Bob Kersee, told Reuters Felix may attempt a 200m-400m double at the Olympics.
“That would be the crowning point of her career,” Kersee said, according to Reuters.
In 2012, Felix attempted the 100m-200m Olympic double rather than the 200m-400m (one day off between the 100m and 200m) and finished fifth in the 100m and, in her primary goal, won gold in the 200m.
At Worlds, Felix won’t have to face Olympic 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross or the fastest 400m runner this year, Francena McCorory, as both failed to make the U.S. team at the U.S. Championships.
Felix is the fastest woman in the world in the 200m this year and, among those qualified for Worlds, is the second fastest woman in the 400m. However, the only woman faster than Felix in the 400m, the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller, may opt to solely run the 200m at Worlds.