Allyson Felix fails to make 200-meter team, can't get Olympic double
EUGENE, Ore. — Allyson Felix’s dreams of doubling at the 2016 Olympics will not happen, as the sprinter failed to qualify in the 200 meters on Sunday at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials. Felix will compete in her fourth Olympics, but will only run the 400 meters, which she won at the trials on July 3.
Tori Bowie captured her first Olympic trials win on Sunday, when she finished in 22.25 in the women’s 200 meters final. She finished third in the women's 100 meters and will double in Rio.
Felix finished in fourth place by .01 seconds behind former Oregon Duck Jenna Prandini, who finished third. Oregon's Deejah Stevens took second 22.30.
Felix has proved to be one of the toughest athletes at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials as she battled an ankle injury she sustained while weight training and won the 400 meters in 49.68—the fastest time in the world for 2016.
Felix was hoping to potentially become the third athlete to win gold in the 200 and 400 at the Olympics. Americans Valerie Brisco-Hooks and Michael Johnson accomplished the feat in 1984 and 1996 respectively. France’s Marie-José Pérec is the last woman to pull off the double with her two wins at the 1996 Olympics. LaShawn Merritt will also attempt the double as he won the men’s 400 and then took second in Saturday’s 200-meter final. Merritt won gold medals in the 400 and 4x400 meter relay at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Felix has never contested an open 400 at the Olympics. Last summer, she won her first world championship title at 400 meters, which opened up the possibility of the double. The original schedule for the Olympics did not allow much time for an athlete to recover in time for the double, but the International Olympic Committee made a change for Felix and other sprinters.
Felix is also a likely candidate to run in the 4x100 and 4x400 relay, which gives her three opportunities to medal. She took gold in the women’s 200, 4x100 and 4x400 at the 2012 Olympics in London. She can surpass Jackie Joyner-Kersee as the most decorated U.S. track and field female Olympian of alltime, as Felix and Joyner-Kersee are currently tied at six Olympic medals each.
If she wins medals in all three races, she would tie Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey’s record of nine Olympic medals by a female track and field athlete. Felix would be just one short of Carl Lewis’ American record of 10 Olympic medals.