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Olympic Track Trials: Allyson Felix pushes through pain to qualify for 400m final

Allyson Felix

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 30: Allyson Felix of the United States celebrates after winning silver in the Women’s 4x400 Relay Final during day nine of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 30, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF)

Christian Petersen

Running on a sprained ankle that she says is causing her a “significant amount of pain,” Allyson Felix fought through today’s 400m semifinal race to advance to the final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. With a time of 50.31, Felix improved on yesterday’s time of 51.96 in the prelims. Her qualifying time for the final was just 0.03 seconds behind top qualifier Francena McCorory.

“I’m hanging in there,” Felix said after the race. “I’m just trying to reserve as much as I can, be as easy as I can, save it all for the final.”

Felix’s hopes of doing the 200m-400m double in Rio were dampened two months ago when she was doing weight training exercises at the gym and landed awkwardly on a medicine ball. In training, she’s been running the opposite way around the track in order to put less strain on the injured right ankle.

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The IOC has already adjusted the Olympic schedule to make Felix’s attempt more feasible. Originally, the 200m preliminaries and 400m final were scheduled for the same night. Now the 200m prelims will be the morning of Aug. 15 with the 400m final following later that night.

Felix has never run the 400m at the Olympics, but won the 2015 World Championships title with a personal-best time of 49.26.

In the first round of the men’s 100m qualifying, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Trayvon Bromell and Mike Rodgers all easily advanced into the semifinals. Bromell was the top qualifier with a time of 9.94 seconds.

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