Felix hopes third time lucky for 200m gold

American star clocked the fastest time in 14 years

Allyson Felix ran the sixth-fastest women's 200 metres ever clocked, the fastest in the world for 14 years, and promptly put the impressive achievement into sobering perspective.

"It's extremely special," she said. "But the job is not done. It's all about London."

For the 26-year-old American sprint star, the Olympics represent a chance to finally claim an elusive individual gold medal after taking 200m silver at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

"It's all about the 200 and whatever puts me in the best position to go for a gold medal in the 200," Felix said.

Reigning 200 world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica won the 2004 and 2008 Olympic 200m titles, but runner-up efforts have not left Felix bitter.

"I still love the Olympics," she said. "The way it has worked out I've just been flat outrun at the Olympics. It still excites me. It's still my dream to get it done and I think it's very possible."

Felix surged to victory in the 200 final at the US Olympic track and field trials in 21.69 seconds, leaving a world-class field racing for second as she set a personal best with a flying start and a fantastic finish.

"It's very rare for me to come off the corner in the lead," Felix said. "I just dug deep and tried to keep going. I was thrilled with my race. Everything came together at the right time."

Only doping-disgraced Marion Jones, Jamaican legend Merlene Ottey and the late world record-holder Florence Griffth-Joyner have ever run faster than Felix in the event.

It was the fastest time clocked in the event since Jones went 21.62 in 1998 in South Africa.

And it also came while Felix and training partner Jeneba Tarmoh were locked in a dispute over a dead heat for third place, and the final Olympic berth, in the women's 100, a controversy that lasted 10 days before being settled.

In the end, Tarmoh pulled out of a planned run-off for the berth hours before it was to be contested, leaving Felix a chance at a 100-200 double but one tainted but the dispute that hung like a dark cloud over the trials.

"The situation has been difficult for everyone involved," Felix said at the time. "I wanted to earn my spot on this team and not have it conceded to me, so I share in everyone's disappointment that this runoff will not happen.

"All I can do now is turn my focus to London."

While Felix's 200m time is half a second ahead of the year's second-best run, by US teammate Sanya Richards-Ross in a Diamond League victory last month in New York, Felix ranks only fifth on the 100 list with a season-best 10.92.

"The 100 would be icing on the cake," Felix said. "It's all about me being prepared for the 200, whatever is best for me there.

"The 100 keeps my sprinting where it needs to be for the 200 so it works out very well. It warms my legs up, gets my legs moving in the right way."

 

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