Allyson Felix eyeing a shot at 2 Olympic golds
They juggled the Olympic schedule for Michael Johnson and he delivered double gold at the Atlanta Games 20 years ago. Now the IAAF and IOC have done the same for Allyson Felix as she seeks the chance to go for the same elusive track-and-field double.
If all goes according to plan at the Rio Olympics, Felix will run a 400-meter semifinal in the evening on Aug. 14. About 13 hours later she'll race in the preliminaries of the 200 and have another 13 hours before the 400 final.
It's better than the original schedule, which had the 200 prelims and 400 final in the same evening session to essentially make the chance for the double unworkable. International track and field officials agreed earlier this year to move up the 200 prelims to give the 30-year-old American star a chance to compete in both.
''It's awesome to know that if I am able to make it, it's going to be a little better schedule,'' Felix told the AP this year. ''It's motivating to know that it is real. I just have to do my part.''
Still, it's not going to be so easy. America's depth makes a spot in Rio no guarantee. To have a chance to match Johnson's feat, Felix has to finish in the top three in each event at the U.S. Trials, which start July 1 in Eugene, Oregon, and she's been nursing an injured ankle.
The three-time world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist pulled out of the Prefontaine Classic last month because of that bad ankle and also skipped the Diamond League race in Doha.
Felix was scheduled to run the 400 at the Pre against Olympic 400-meter champion Sanya Richards-Ross. Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas won the race, followed by Francena McCorory and Natasha Hastings of the U.S. Tori Bowie won the 200, besting Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.
Felix attempted the same double at the 2011 world championships and won silver in the 400. But in the 200 final, the fatigue showed and she faded to third, snapping a streak of three straight world titles.
A look at other story lines that will play out in the pre-Olympic events over the next few weeks:
GOODWIN'S QUEST: Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is on the roster bubble for the Buffalo Bills, but right now he has only the long jump on the mind. A third-round draft pick out of Texas, Goodwin is preparing for long jump trials instead of participating in OTAs with the Bills. And that's OK with the head coach.
''This is fantastic,'' Bills coach Rex Ryan said. ''Not every team in the league has somebody like this. Just the fact that he has this unbelievable opportunity to represent himself and this country I think is a great thing. There's no way I was going to have this young man miss that opportunity.''
Goodwin was the silver medalist in the 2015 Pan Am Games in the long jump and a medal favorite at the 2012 Olympics in London. He had the longest jump in the qualifying round but scratched on his first jump in the finals, jumped too early on the second, had a disappointing jump on his third, and finished 10th.
''I'm trying to make history, man,'' said Goodwin, whose wife, Morgan, will try to make the U.S. team as a hurdler. ''I'm so grateful for the opportunity. I don't think you all really understand how big this is for me, how big it is for my family.''
HUDDLE'S TIME?: Molly Huddle has been one of the top U.S. women's long distance runners over the past few years, and she hasn't let a recent disastrous race affect her. Last August at World Championships in Beijing, Huddle ran the 10,000 of her life and at the bell lap was leading a group of eight runners. She was passed at the head of the backstretch by Ethiopia's Geleta Burka and Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot as the three separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Cheruiyot passed Burka and held on for the victory, and Huddle seemed to have the bronze safely in hand until she eased up at the finish line and raised her arms in triumph, only to be edged by teammate Emily Infeld. How Huddle does at Trials and which event(s) she does qualify for will be watched closely.
SUHR'S LAST GO: Jenn Suhr is the defending gold medalist in the pole vault and holds 11 American records, but she has a big obstacle to overcome before worrying about Brazil - qualifying for the U.S. team at age 34 as she copes with calf and Achilles heel problems.
Still, she's excelled indoors, setting a world record (16 feet, 6 inches) in a meet in upstate New York in January, and she has all that experience - five world medals and 16 U.S. titles
''Our concern first of all is making the team, that's an all-out battle,'' Suhr's husband, Rick, said.''We have to be top three that day, or we don't go.''
SWIMMING GIANTS: Another Olympiad. Will it be another show for Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte? The U.S. Olympic team trials in swimming get underway in Omaha, Nebraska, on Sunday. It's the only selection meet for the U.S. team.
Lochte, world record holder in the 200-meter individual medley, dominated at the Arena Pro Swim Series in mid-May at Charlotte, North Carolina beating teammate Conor Dwyer by nearly 2 seconds, and also won the 400 IM.
Now 30 and with 18 Olympic golds on his resume, Phelps is bidding for a berth on his fifth Olympic team. He's scheduled to swim five events - the 100 meters and 200-meter butterfly, the 200m individual medley, and the 100m and 200m freestyle. He's not expected to contend for a berth in the freestyle events but hopes to secure a relay spot.
BORIS FREED: Nike dropped its lawsuit against middle-distance runner Boris Berian over what brand of gear he wears, freeing him to concentrate on the Olympic Trials next week. Berian is emerging as one of the feel-good stories as the Rio Olympics loom, an 800-meter runner who flipped burgers at a McDonald's in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to make ends meet while he trained. Berian, who was sued for breach of contract, may now negotiate with any footwear company.
AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo, New York, contributed to this report.
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