Allyson Felix's Best Chance to Win Olympic Medal for Team USA Is in 200, Not 100
Regardless of what is decided for the third qualifying spot in the women’s 100-meter dash at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, Allyson Felix has to focus on the 200 meters the next couple of days. After all, that’s her best chance to win her elusive individual Olympic gold medal.
She qualified for the semifinals in that event at the trials on Thursday, winning her preliminary heat.
Felix won gold in the 4x400 in Beijing to go along with her 2004 and 2008 silvers in the 200, but she slipped a notch at the 2011 World Championships, winning bronze in her preferred event.
To ensure that doesn’t happen again, she dropped the 400. In a strange move, she also decided to try the 100, in which she hasn’t medalled individually in a major meet since 2006.
It would almost be a blessing for Felix if Jeneba Tarmoh beats her for the final 100 spot in London. Then she could concentrate on her best event at the Olympics.
The 2005, 2007 and 2009 world champion in the 200, Felix recently said that if she doesn’t win 200 gold this year, it would be a failure (from ESPN):
Just because it's not my first games, not my second, but my third time. I've had eight years to think about being a silver medalist. This time, I want to win.
Depending on how qualifying goes in the 200—barring an injury or some other nightmare scenario, Felix should qualify—she might even consider conceding the 100 bid to Tarmoh. Of course, world-class athletes are never ones to give anything up, so that’s not likely to happen.
But in this case, less may be more for Felix. She hasn’t had a personal best in the 200 in five years, since she started competing in the 400 and 100 often.
To be able to put in a concerted effort for a gold medal, it’s time for Felix to get back to the basics. The 200 has always been her event.
Gold medals in three World Championships and three World Athletics Finals 200 meters might be great achievements, but without that Olympic gold, her collection is incomplete.
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