Allyson Felix will not race her signature event, the 200m, at the World Championships next week, but she will nevertheless go in as an experienced championship competitor in the 400m.
In an interview with NBC Olympics analyst Ato Boldon, Felix reflected on her only other time contesting the one-lap race at a global meet at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Felix took on her toughest challenge yet at those World Championships, running the 400m and then the 200m in the same meet. She will not double up in Beijing next week because the 400m final and the 200m semifinals are a little more than an hour apart.
In the 400m in Daegu, Felix nearly won the gold. She set a personal best of 49.59 and took silver, .03 behind gold medalist Amantle Montsho of Botswana.
Montsho, who clocked a national record in that race, is now serving a doping ban.
“I definitely look back and think, man, I learned a lot,” Felix said of Daegu. “It was my first time really taking on something like that. I can honestly say I didn’t know the race very well. Still, it’s a work in progress, of course. But I feel more confident now, more experienced, and, definitely, that I can draw on that experience and say that, OK, I can do things a little differently.”
In 2012, Felix decided to complement her 200m with the 100m at the London Olympics. She placed fifth in the 100m and then earned a long-awaited gold in the 200m.
In 2013, Felix contested a single event at Worlds, the 200m, where she tore her right hamstring in the final and was carried off the track by brother Wes.