(Reuters) - Olympic 200 meters gold medallist Allyson Felix surprisingly has not ruled out attempting to win both the 200 and 400 meters at August’s world championships in Beijing, her coach told Reuters on Thursday.
While many had thought the schedule would be too difficult to try both as Felix did in 2011 at the Daegu worlds under a more favourable programme, coach Bob Kersee said the two sprint races were still on the table.
“Absolutely,” the long-time mentor said in a telephone interview.
“It’s not that impossible. The difficult day would be (August) 27th because you would have the semis in the 200m and an hour later the 400m final.”
The 200m final will be the next evening.
“I know a double would be hard,” Kersee said. “But we tried it before in Daegu and I think we know where our mistakes are.”
A key to any decision, which is days away, will be how many relays U.S. coaches want the talented 29-year-old sprinter to run in Beijing.
“The USA relay coaches play too many games,” Kersee said. “Either you are going to commit Allyson to the 4x100 and 4x400m relays or you are not.”
In his mind, Kersee said, “I think the relay calls are more important than (the individual races).”
Once they are decided, “what we do will come down to two relays and one event or two events and one relay,” he said.
Felix won the 200m and ran on the world-record breaking 4x100m and gold medal winning 4x400m relays at the 2012 London Olympics.
The previous year, she had placed second in the 400m and third in the 200m before running on the winning 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the 2011 Daegu world championships.
At the 2013 world championships, she pulled up and crashed to the track during the 200m final with a hamstring injury.
Felix has the speed in the 100, 200 and 400m to do both relays.
Fastest in the world in the 200 this year, she ranks third in the 400 and won the U.S. trials against a top-notch field.
To prepare for the challenging possibility of doubling, Felix will run a 200m in Lausanne on July 9, attend the U.S. relay camp in Monaco on the 17th and run one or two events in the July 24-25 London Diamond League meeting, Kersee said.
Then it will be decision time.
Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina. Editing by Andrew Both