With the World Championships in Daegu just over six weeks away, Allyson Felix is firmly focused on winning her fourth straight 200m title. Will she also add the 400m to her agenda? That decision is coming soon, Felix writes in her latest IAAF Diary.
“I am on my way to Italy to run the 4 x 100m Relay with the United States relay team in Lignano. It’s rare that we have a chance to race together outside of major championships so I’m looking forward to a great time with my teammates.
“After that, my next individual race will be the 200m in Monaco at the Herculis meeting on 22 July. After spending some time training there earlier this season, I feel even more comfortable with the track and think it should be a great performance against some of the best competition.
“I haven’t raced since running the 400m in the USA Championships on 26 June. The rounds of the 400m were tough, but my coach Bobby Kersee did a great job of having me prepared for them. All of those hard training days paid dividends through the rounds. I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of the 400m runners. I'm reminded every time I run the 4 of how much it hurts.
“The USA Champs had a lot of great performances, I especially enjoyed watching my fellow USC Trojan Jesse Williams in the High Jump. I enjoyed watching Walter Dix in the 100m and 200m, Brittany Reese in the Long Jump and Alysia Montano in the 800m, as well.
“I am returning to the U.S. the day after the Herculis meeting. I won't be taking a training break at all, I'm back into intense training and am completely focused on Daegu. My coach and I really want to work on speed and maintaining strength.
"I haven't decided whether to run the 200m and 400m yet but plan to make a decision within the next week.
“Although I still had practice on the Fourth of July, it is such a fun American holiday especially here in Southern California. The whole city heads to the beach and enjoys the great weather. This year I went out to Malibu and spent one of my beach days there, of course I had to check out the fireworks.
“On Tuesday (12 July), I had an opportunity to be a presenter at the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year Awards in Hollywood with basketball player Lisa Leslie and softball player Jessica Mendoza. I had a chance to visit with my former training partner Joanna Hayes, who coaches at Harvard-Westlake High School with Quincy Watts and Felix Sanchez. Hayes accompanied one of her athletes, girls' track finalist Amy Weissenbach, who finished fourth in the 800m in the World Youth Championships.
“I won the Gatorade award in 2003 along with basketball player LeBron James. It was definitely the highlight of my high school career. It’s up there with everything because it is such a different experience.
“The cool thing about this award is that you get to meet people in different sports. Even to this day, me and basketball player Candace Parker are really good friends and neighbors in Santa Clarita, California and hang out a lot. Without the Gatorade award, I would have never met other elite people in other sports.
“The kids are so genuine and when you go up in levels, you kind of lose that somewhat. That’s what I really love about it.”