May 25, 2016 / 12:02 AM / 3 years ago

Felix delays her season opener due to ankle sprain

(Reuters) - Olympic 200 meters champion Allyson Felix will miss opening her outdoor season at Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic in Oregon as she continues to recover from a five-week old ankle sprain, her coach told Reuters on Tuesday.

Runner Allyson Felix poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The setback will not affect Felix’s plans to run both the 200 and 400 meters at August’s Rio Olympics, coach Bob Kersee said in a telephone interview.

“Nothing at all,” Kersee said when asked if Felix’s injury would change plans for the rare Olympic double, which only two women have completed.

Kersee said Felix, who has missed two outdoor meetings after running in an early relay race, was ready to compete but her physical therapist and doctor encouraged her to take more time.

“Things are going well and they have no concern about her being prepared by the (July 1-10) Olympic trials,” Kersee said. “They just think (she should focus on) her training and physical therapy and maybe take a week to 10 days before she races.”

Felix, America’s top sprinter, sprained her right ankle during a weight training session in April. She resumed regular workouts on Monday after being off the track completely for two weeks following the injury, Kersee said.

The world 400 meters champion will need to finish in the top three in both the 200 and 400 meters at July’s U.S. trials to qualify for the Olympics.

Whether she competes before the trials has not been decided, Kersee said. If she does, it most likely will be in a U.S. meeting.

The past few weeks have been emotional ones for the 30-year-old Californian, who has won 14 Olympic and outdoor world championship gold medals.

“Right when she was getting back to the track, her dog passed away,” Kersee said. “She had to deal with that emotion.

“But she’s good, and her training session today was a heck of a session.”

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue

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