No double but Felix goes for the bigger challenge in Beijing

Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:23am EDT
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By Gene Cherry

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - In the end, Allyson Felix went with the world championship event that presented her with the biggest challenge.

Eligible to compete in either the 200 meters, the 400 meters or both in Beijing, the American sprinter chose the longer event and two relays.

"She loves the 200," her coach, Bob Kersee, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "But with all due respect to everybody else, in the 200 she has won on center stage in both the world championship and the Olympic Games."

Felix won the world title over the half-lap in 2005, 2007 and 2009 and is the reigning Olympic champion after her London triumph.

The 29-year-old's only global medal in the 400, however, is the silver she won at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, where she did attempt the 200-400 double and also took home a bronze from the 200 and two golds from the relays.

"So I think at this stage," Kersee said, stressing the words were his not Felix's.

"If I am going to try something different, and put a little bit of athletic pressure on myself, moving up to the 400 will be the bigger challenge versus saying I got everything to win or everything to lose by running the 200."

The coach floated the idea of a 200-400 double in Beijing but Felix eventually decided against it because a crushing schedule leaves only an hour between the 200 semi-final and the 400 final.   Continued...

Allyson Felix of the U.S. (2nd L) runs next to Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria (L) in their women's 200 metres semi-final heat during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez