Allyson Felix to run more 400s this season

Updated: May 5, 2010, 12:56 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- American sprinter Allyson Felix will try to improve her 200-meter time by competing in more 400 races this season, and will decide next year whether to add the distance for the world championships and 2012 London Olympics.

The three-time 200 world champion said Wednesday that she will run the 400 more than ever to "see if it's realistic for me to add that to my plate."

"The 400 definitely makes your 200 a better race, and I've always run the 400 to get strength at the end of my 200-meter race," Felix said on a conference call. "I haven't decided about a double yet. Depending on how this year goes, I'll make the decision."

Felix spoke nine days before she opens her season at the Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar, the first of 14 top-level competitions to be staged around the world this season. She will also compete at the London Grand Prix in August.

Although the 24-year-old Felix has won three world championship gold medals, she has yet to match that success at the Olympics, claiming silver medals in the 200 at both the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Games.

"It's definitely frustrating always getting worlds and never getting Olympics. I'm hoping the third time will be a charm when I get to London," Felix said. "I'm definitely looking towards London 2012. ... That's really what's motivating me and continues to drive me."

There is no major championship on the schedule this season, so many top athletes will have to compete against their top rivals more often. For Felix, that means racing against 400 world champion Sanya Richards.

"I'm sure we'll be facing each other multiple times, in both the 400 and 200," Felix said. "I'm looking forward to the rivalry. I think it'll bring out the best in us."

Still, it should be a less stressful year for Felix and others.

"It's definitely a down year," Felix said. "It almost comes at a perfect time because we're about to gear up for another intense three years with world championships-Olympics-world championships, so it's kind of nice to have this off year for me to focus more on performance, technique, strategies."

Despite her foray into a fuller 400 schedule this season, Felix said she'll never give up on the 200.

"I fell in love with that event back in high school. It'll always be my favorite," said Felix, who will be trying to win a fourth straight world title in that event next year in Daegu, South Korea. "It's the perfect distance for me."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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