Felix fixes formula for rare 200-400m Olympic bid

Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:13pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Allyson Felix is honing in on her quest for a rare shot at gold in both the 200 and 400 meters at the Rio Olympics, tailoring her training to simulate the stress of her bid and leaning some who have achieved the feat.

A four-time Olympic champion and nine-time world champion in the sprints, Felix is seeking to become only the fourth athlete to sweep the distances at an Olympics.

Felix, in New York to compete in the 60-yard dash indoors at the Armory in Saturday's 109th Millrose Games, attempted the feat at the 2011 world championships where she finished second in the 400 meters and third in the 200 meters.

"It was a huge learning experience for me because it was my first time trying to do it," Felix, 30, told Reuters on Thursday. "I learned that I needed more speed. When I came to the 200 I was feeling flat, and not like myself."

Felix said her sprinting speed is her strength and she must have faith that her distance training would provide the endurance she needs in the 400 to match Valerie Brisco-Hooks (1984) and France's Marie-Jose Perec (1996).

Michael Johnson became the first men's 200-400 double winner at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

"Obviously, (her coach) Bobby (Kersee) has been my biggest wisdom in the area and Valerie, she's someone who I’ll continue to talk to. She's worked with us for years," said Felix, whose coach Kersee worked with Brisco-Hooks at the LA Games.

"I have a great relationship with her. I’ve picked her brain a little bit, and I'm definitely going to continue to do that throughout the year."   Continued...

Aug 27, 2015; Beijing, China; Allyson Felix (USA) celebrates after winning the womens 400m in 49.26 during the IAAF World Championships in Athletics at National Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports