Allyson Felix has been added to the 200m prelims. If she qualifies for the Olympics there, she’ll have a choice to make before Tokyo.
EUGENE, Ore — The Latest on U.S. track and field Olympic trials (all times PDT):
Sha’Carri Richardson is out. Allyson Felix is in.
Start lists for Thursday’s 200-meter preliminaries at U.S. track trials include Felix, who has qualified for the Tokyo Games in the 400, but not Richardson, the 100-meter champion who had been qualified for the longer distance but decided not to race.
If Felix were to finish in the top three at 200 meters, she’d have to choose a distance, because the 200 and 400 will overlap on the Olympic schedule.
When asked last week about her prospects for the 200, Felix said “I think I want to have fun with it.”
“As everyone knows, I love the 200. I used to call it my baby. Now that I have a baby, I can’t do it anymore,” said the 35-year-old who had a daughter, Camryn, in 2018.
Felix has nine Olympic medals. Her only individual gold came in the 200 in 2012. She also won silvers at the distance in ‘04 and ’08, and a sliver in the 400 in 2016.
With potentially record temperatures about to reach the Pacific Northwest, parts of the U.S. track and field trials are being rescheduled to try to beat the heat.
This weekend’s 20-kilometer race walks and the women’s 10,000 and men’s 5,000-meter finals have all been moved to earlier time slots. The walks will start at 7 a.m. Saturday, two hours before originally scheduled.
The women’s 10K is now set for 10 a.m. Saturday and the men’s 5K will start at 10 a.m. Sunday. Both those races had originally been scheduled for late afternoon. The forecast high for Eugene on Saturday is 100 (37 Celsius) and for Sunday it is 107 (41 C).
After a two-day break, action at Hayward Field resumes Thursday with finals in the women’s shot put and women’s steeplechase. In that race, Emma Coburn is seeking her ninth national title and third trip to the Olympics.
Also competing in preliminaries Thursday is hammer thrower Gwen Berry.
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports
Felix will have a shot this summer to become the most decorated female track athlete in the history of the Olympics.
EUGENE, Ore. — Flat on her back, gasping for breath, Allyson Felix kept her eyes on the scoreboard.
When her name came up in the second spot, she kicked up her heels and covered her face with her hands.
No doubt, this fifth trip to the Olympics is her sweetest.
The 35-year-old mom rallied from fifth at the start of the homestretch to the second-place finish at U.S. track trials to earn the chance to win a 10th Olympic medal and break a tie with Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey as the most decorated female track athlete in the history of the games.
“It has been a fight to get here, and one thing I know how to do is to fight,” Felix said. “I just did it all the way home.”
Running from outside her usual comfort zone, in Lane 8, Felix got off to a fast start and led 100 meters in. Slowly, she lost the lead, lost her grip on the third spot and was fighting just to stay close. But in a closing burst that will likely go down as one her her best, she reeled in half the field. She finished in 50.02 seconds, 0.24 behind Quanera Hayes and 0.01 ahead of Wadeline Jonathas.
“I just wanted to use my experience,” Felix said. “To make a fifth one, it’s so special.”
The Olympics is five weeks away in Tokyo. The road there has been filled with more twists and turns than Felix might’ve imagined two decades ago when she burst onto the scene as America’s fresh-faced sprint star.
They included the difficult birth of her now-2-year-old daughter, Camryn, who spent time in the neonatal intensive-care unit after she was born; and a very pronounced move into advocacy for female athletes in her sport, many of whom had been left on the sideline by sponsors when they became pregnant.
They also included their share of heartbreak on the track: Second-place finishes at the 2004, 2008 and 2016 Games, to say nothing of some close misses in her attempt to qualify at multiple distances, kept her motivated to keep pushing forward.
The COVID-19 pandemic put an even tougher spin on things, costing her a year at a time in her career when every day counts. To make the most of the time, Felix found herself waiting outside her house for coach Bobby Kersee to measure out distances on the street so she could train while tracks and gyms were closed.
If an Olympic trip was all that mattered, you could say the work paid off. But Felix has never been happy just to be there. She’ll have her hands full. Not only with Hayes, but also with the defending champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who dove at the line in Rio de Janeiro to beat Felix by 0.07 seconds.
On Sunday night, Felix celebrated on the track, hanging out with Camryn and with Hayes, who introduced the Felix family to her own youngster, Demetrius. “We’re going to Tokyo,! Felix told the kids.
Yes, Father’s Day looked more like Mother’s Day at Hayward Field.
“Today, I thought about all the things,” Felix said. “Us fighting in the NICU, fighting for my life, fighting on the track.”
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports