London 2012 Track & Field: Why Allyson Felix Will Finally Win the 200M Dash

Noah JampolFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  Allyson Felix of the United States competes in the Women's 200m heat on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Allyson Felix has a résumé that on first glance looks absolutely unbeatable. A staggering 13 medals at the World Championships and Olympics, including an even more impressive nine golds.

It all looks almost Phelps-esque until you realize there is one gaping hole in her trophy case.

Individual Olympic gold.

Despite her three world titles in the 200-meter dash and her consistent excellence, Felix has been left wanting twice as a bridesmaid. This in an event she owns on the odd-numbered years.

This year, some eight years after her first near miss, that should all change. Here's why:


Her Improvement in the 100-Meter Dash

Never before has Felix so consistently flashed superb 100-meter speed. In this season she has run her two fastest times at the distance ever, and three of her four best. 

She's lowered her personal best to a very strong 10.89 seconds, which by itself is nothing to blush at. When combined with her 49.59-second strength in the 400-meters, it makes for a potent combination of speed and strength.

Best of all, we know that blazing speed is right there at this moment, as she ran her personal best in the 100-meter final just days ago.

With her start and drive phase at an all-time best, Felix will come off the turn after the first 100 in as good shape as she ever has.


The Field's Form in the 200

While the big names are all there in this year's 200-meter field, the form of Felix's competitors is simply not up to the standards of 2008 when she just missed out.

Felix's chief rival, Veronica Campbell-Brown, came into the Olympic Games that year with two sub-22-second performances. Jamaican teammate Kerron Stewart had a 21.99 clocking to her name, and a third Jamaican Sherone Simpson had run a swift 22.11-second time.

This year, the best mark outside of Felix is 22.09 from Sanya Richards-Ross, the Olympic 400-meters champ. 

There are a host of athletes in this range, but not one has gotten under the sub-22-second range that would seem to be necessary to take down Felix given the next point.


Felix Has Never Been Running Better in the 200

Considering the lack of a sub-22 performance, Felix's spectacular 21.69-clocking in the 200-meter at the US Olympic Trials makes her a prohibitive favorite. 

In that race, Felix blew away Olympic 100-meters silver medalist Carmelita Jeter by a stunning .52 second margin. Richards-Ross was even further back.

The performance was masterful and the sixth fastest of all time with a fair share of the ones above it done by suspected dopers.

It is the type of showing that would put her out of the range of even her greatest competitors.

Richards-Ross will be coming off an exhausting string of 400-meter races. She wasn't able to run near Felix at the trials with a similar set of circumstances.

The 100-meter gold medalist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, is still relatively inexperienced in the event. This will be her first attempt at completing a double at a major championships. 

Jeter has never run faster than 22.11 for 200 meters, and neither she, nor Fraser-Pryce, possess nearly as much 400-meter strength as Felix.

Lastly, her most difficult challenge might be longtime nemesis Veronica Campbell-Brown. Fortunately for Felix, Campbell-Brown only finished third in the 200 at the Jamaican trials with a pedestrian time of 22.42. Her seasonal best is only slightly better at 22.38.

There's always that chance that she'll come out of the woodwork with a vintage performance to deny the American again. Still, the time has never looked better for Felix to fill up her trophy case.

After two near-misses at the Olympic Games, it certainly looks like the third time will be a charm for Felix.