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UPDATE: August 8, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp:
She's done it—Allyson Felix won gold in the 200-meter dash!
After consecutive silver medals in 2004 and 2008, Felix finally earned her gold, blazing a time of 21.88 seconds to best Shelly-Ann Fraser Price (22.09) and Carmelita Jeter (22.14).
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UPDATE: August 7, 2012 at 1:40 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp:
Not surprisingly, Allyson Felix has advanced to the finals.
Officially, her time is 22.31, but who's counting? Felix easily won Heat 2 and will now join a stacked final that includes her teammates Carmelita Jeter and Sanya Richards-Ross and Jamaican stalwarts Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price.
Felix may have been outclassed in the 100-meter final, but in the 200-meter final, she is fully capable of going gold. Only Richards-Ross had a faster semifinal time (22.30).
UPDATE: 2:44 p.m. ET by Jessica Isner: The 200-meter is Allyson Felix's wheelhouse, and nobody expected her to have any trouble at all qualifying. It was just a matter of how easily she'd dominate the rest of the field.
Felix blew away the rest of the Round 1 hopefuls in her heat with ease, coming in first in Heat 2 at 22.71 seconds to qualify for the semifinals. Behind her was Semoy Hackett of Trinidad at 22.81 seconds, and Grenada's Janelle Redhead came in third at 23.08.
Felix's finish on Monday wasn't quite up there with the time she posted during the Olympic Trials in June, when she ran the 200-meter in a personal-best 21.69 seconds, according to the New York Times. But that doesn't mean her gold-medal bid is in jeopardy—she's likely just saving some gas in the tank for the semifinals (and, eventually, the finals) and is trying to keep her opposition on its toes.
Speaking of opposition, Felix stacked up nicely against her prime competition in Round 1. Carmelita Jeter topped Heat 3 at 22.65 seconds, Sanya Richards-Ross came in first in Heat 4 at 22.48 seconds and Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown—the reigning champion—surprised a few when she finished third in her heat with a time of 22.75 seconds. You can see the Round 1 results here.
This is going to shape up to be quite the showdown in the finals.
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After back-to-back silver medals in this event, it's time for Felix to take the next step and win gold. She posted a career-best time of 21.69 seconds during the trials, which should mean she's hitting her peak at the right moment.
There will be no shortage of competition, however. The aforementioned Jeter and Sanya Richards-Ross are the other Americans in the race, and will both contend, as will two-time defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica.
That said, Felix should be viewed as the favorite. The combination of her previous Olympic experiences in the event and elite form should be enough to get her across the finish line first, claiming another gold medal for Team USA.