Chris Chavez and Andrew Lowe (The Jamaica Gleaner) asked Allyson Felix the big question today in Lucerne: Are you doubling in Beijing.
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson told reporters at the Lausanne Athletissima press conference that her performance in Thursday night’s Diamond League, where she will race the 200-meter dash, may dictate coach Bobby Kersee’s decision for the IAAF World Championship.
“Bobby is ultimately going to be the one who makes the decision,” Felix said. “I think he’s going to see how I run here first. He’s been watching my training and after I’m done here, he’ll make his final decision.”
Felix did say “yes” when asked by the press officer whether she would be running in the women’s 4×400-meter relay.
Felix backtracked on her previous statement that she was considering doubling in Beijing, but shared her sense of hope for potentially doubling in Beijing.
“I would love to run the double. It’s something that I did before and would love to do it again,” Felix said. “In my opinion, the schedule just doesn’t allow for it. To me it’s really disappointing because there’s so many people that can do a 200/400 double and I think we should be allowed to attempt it. I hope that moving forward the Olympic schedule will be able to reflect that. At this world championship, I don’t see it as ideal to be able to run optimal in both the 200 and 400.”
Michael Johnson won gold medals at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden over the 200-meter and 400-meter distances. The performance was enough to convince the International Olympics Committee to adjust their schedule for him to win another two gold medals at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta.
Johnson chimed in with his own two cents on Twitter saying that a reason to attempt the double in 2015 for Felix may be “to workout what you might need to change to insure a successful double in Rio. I did that in 1995.” Johnson won his Olympic medals in grand fashion with a world record (200-meter dash) and Olympic record (400-meter dash).
Felix and Kersee will be doing all that in their power through communication with the IAAF, IOC and others to try and make adjustments.
“I haven’t talked to Bobby about the specifics of it, but he definitely told me that he would be talking to whoever he needs to talk to to voice his opinion,” Felix said. “Not just for myself, but the 200/400 double to me is a common double. A lot of 200 runners can run the 400 and a lot of 400 runners can run the 200 as well. In any case moving forward, I think this is a great opportunity for any sprinter to have.”
Felix races the women’s 200-meter dash against the likes of Blessing Okhagbare-Ighoteguonor (Nigeria), Dafne Schippers (Netherlands) and compatriots Jeneba Tarmoh and Dezerea Bryant.
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