Sunday, July 1, 2012

Standing Ovation: Allyson Felix

Allyson Felix threw down Saturday and ran the fastest 200 meter time in 14 years -- a whopping 21.69 seconds. The only Americans that have run faster are Florence Griffith-Joyner (world record-holder) and Marion Jones.

There was so much pressure going into this race. She had tied for third in the 100 meter with her training partner, Jeneba Tarmoh; which sounds great except that only the three people can compete from one country in any event.  The press surrounding the potential run-off must have been distracting.  Add that to the fact that Carmelita Jeter, who won the 100m race, had beaten her in the 200m at last year's world championships, and Sanya Richards-Ross, who won the 400m race, had run her personal best in the 200m this year.  All the pressure in the world was on Allyson to perform at her best.

Allyson Felix © Gallo Images
I've been a fan of Allyson since I was on my own high school track team. When she ran a 22.11 in the 200m her senior year of high school, I knew this fellow pastor's kid could do great things. Since then, she has won three world championships at 200m and two silver medals at the Olympics at that distance. She has lost to the same woman, Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB) of Jamaica, at both Olympics, but it is looking like this is the year that she will win an individual gold at the Olympics. Allyson has now run her personal best in both the 100m and 200m this year, so VCB better watch out because Allyson Felix is on fire.

Now, let's see if she wins the first-ever U.S. Track Olympic Trials run-off at 5pm on Monday.

UPDATED: Jeneba Tarmoh conceded the spot to Allyson Felix. Her heart apparently was just not in it to run in a run-off after two weeks of racing. I hope next time she can qualify without all of this drama.


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