Veronica Campbell Brown, 200 meters,
photo by PhotoRun.net
Veronica Campbell Brown won the 2004 Athens Olympic 200 meters in 22.05 from teenager Allyson Felix, who ran 22.18. In 2008, in Beijing, Veronica Campell-Brown, aka VCB, added to her collection of Olympic medals with a fine 21.74 win over Allyson Felix, then, all of 22, who ran 21.93. Add to that, VCB has a bronze in the 100 meters in Athens. And do not even get me started in the World Champs.
Allyson Felix, 200 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net
So, in 2012, Allyson Felix, who already has eight Olympic gold medals, wanted a gold medal that had, until now, alluded her. In winning the 200 meters in 2012, Allyson Felix ran her race, an elegant run around the curve, with a superb last straight. Felix is made for the furlong. And she knows it.
This is how she added a ninth Olympic gold medal to her wardrobe, with Veronica Campbell-Brown, her nemesis, in the same race, looking for her third Olympic gold at the 200 meters. This time, it was all about Allyson Felix, and 80,000 fans willed her on, faster and faster...
When Allyson Felix ran 21.65 in Eugene, Oregon on June 31, I gasped. It was the fastest 200 meters that I had seen in over 20 years, but it was also the most beautiful furlong as well. Allyson Felix is built to run the 200 meters and 400 meters. The 200 meters may be, her perfect distance. At the age of 26, I believe, Allyson Felix is getting ready to run even faster.
In the Olympic final, the truth was, no one could stay with her. As she came out of the blocks, her start, while mostly solid, was nearly flawless. Felix ran the turn to near perfection, coming off the turn with a strong lead, and she just increased it.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the gold medalist at the 100 meters, was running relaxed and flying as well, hitting the line in 22.09, a personal best, and gaining her the silver medal. Carmelita Jeter, the silver medalist from the 100 meters, ran well, catching several over the last 100 meters, running 22.14, to capture the bronze.
Veronica Campbell-Brown, who had taken the bronze in the 100 meters, was not so fortunate this evening. Tried as she might, VCB ran 22.38, just ahead of Sanya Richards-Ross, the gold medalist at 400 meters.
What all of this means is that, with a terribly tough field, Allyson Felix focused on her race, and ran a very fast and effective 200 meters, winning the 200 meters for the first time for Ms. Felix. Allyson Felix ran 21.88, and she could have run faster, with a litter more warmth on the track.
How fast can Allyson Felix run?
Well, in my mind, Much faster.