Athletics: Felix eyes Tokyo 400m gold as final farewell

Reuters , Thursday 16 Nov 2017

USA's Allyson Felix during the press conference (Photo: Reuters)

American sprinter Allyson Felix, the most decorated woman in Olympic and world championship history, is eyeing a final shot at the one major medal to elude her – Olympic 400 metres gold.

The 31-year-old just missed out on gold in Rio de Janeiro last year and at this year's world championships in London she had to settle for bronze.

With six Olympic titles to her name, Felix is now focusing on the 400m despite the 200 being her favourite event and the one in which she won gold at the 2012 Olympics.

"I think I haven’t reached my full potential in the 400’s as of now,” Felix told Reuters on Thursday.

"The Tokyo Olympics (in 2020) is my goal. I’m working towards that and I want to give it my all. It is a very strenuous process. If it doesn’t happen, there are a lot of things to do after my running career.”

Felix admitted her strategy went wrong in the world 400m final in London this year when she ran the first 200m too fast.

“You can be the best, but if your strategy is off and if you don’t put the race together, it can end wrongly," she said. "To me, that’s the challenge of the 400m.”

Before she starts her strenuous training schedule for next year, Felix is enjoying coaching youngsters and holding sprint clinics in the United Arab Emirates.

She is training local sprinters after being challenged by NBA great Kobe Bryant to coach athletes for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

Felix does not plan to go into coaching when she retires, nor is she intending to compete into her late thirties, but she is very grateful for her athletics career.

“It has given me real joy, lifelong friends, allowed me the ability to travel the world and go into things I’m passionate about, I can lend my voice to something that’s more meaningful, it’s given me a whole life plan,” she said.

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