This is the second of 4 pieces on the Inspiration Games…all by Stuart Weir.
Allyson Felix proved to be the star of the show, pulling off an impressive win over Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Mujinga Kambundji in the 150 meters. With the three athletes running on different tracks, at a different time of the day and in different conditions, one could debate whether the external variables affected the result. Felix was in California, Miller-Uibo in Florida and Kambundji was actually in the Zurich Letzigrund stadium. It seems right, rather, to celebrate an excellent piece of running by Felix and leave the imponderables for another time. This was meant to be a fun event and it was. The viewer watched the three athletes on a split screen with a commentator equally unsure who was winning!
Felix, who finished in 16.81 from Miller-Uibo (17.15) and Kambundji (17.28). Felix said afterwards “It was very strange and I feel like sort of practice but not even because there’s really no teammates or anything. It’s hard to challenge yourself, so I think that’s the big thing was running solo. I don’t think there’s anything that can compare to that. But I love this sport and so any chance to get out here and run has been a long time. I’m all about it. I think we see what a hardship everyone is going through, and we just want to bring a little bit of joy, pause a moment and appreciate support”.
Miller-Uibo commented: “I’m very happy with it. I will give God thanks for me coming here and competing again. It was a fun run, the 150m is obviously not as taxing as the 400m, but it was really fun. I’m working on technique, building up strength and speed endurance, these are things we are working on. This extra year will give us a little more time [to train].It’s good just to get some meets and get to compete, but the main focus is going to be for next year. I’m using this year as a building year”.
Mujinga Kambundji seemed less happy with her performance: “It was ok I think, the start was quite ok and then in the end it got a little bit hard. For today, it was ok. Maybe later in the season, I could do better. I was looking forward to compete, it has been a long time I did not do any season, the last time was Doha, I am happy to be back, now the first race is done. And I am happy to continue. I am used to train by myself because I did that when I was training in Germany”.
Running an unusual distance was probably right for the occasion and as Shaunae said, “150 is easier on the lungs than 400!”