Allyson Felix eyes 200m as she works toward 2020 Olympics

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Allyson Felix wants to race at a fifth Olympics in 2020 but, now at age 31, plans to compete less and repeated that the 200m is her “baby” and “favorite event.”

“Yes, I think I want to do it [compete at Tokyo 2020],” Felix said at the Los Angeles Sports Awards on Tuesday night. “Now, I have all this experience that I can use. I remember when I was the youngest on the team. Now, I’m one of the oldest. … I can train smarter. I think now, less is more. We were talking about competing less. That is really key as well.”

Last year, Felix took silver in the Olympic 400m, edged by the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller by .07.

Felix had hoped to race the 200m and 400m in Rio, but she missed the Olympic team by .01 in the 200m at the Olympic Trials in July, slowed by partially tearing two ligaments in her right ankle in late April.

The nine-time Olympic medalist said in September that she wasn’t committing to going for a 200m-400m double at the 2017 World Championships. Nor did she consider herself a 400m runner.

“I’m always hanging onto the 200m,” Felix said in September. “I just feel like I haven’t ran it [the 200m] in the past few years, for one reason or the other [neither at the 2015 Worlds due to a tight schedule nor 2016 Olympics due to not qualifying]. The opportunity hasn’t quite been there. I’m excited, looking forward to this year [2017]. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do, but I know that I’m not done with the 200m yet.”

Miller said earlier this month that she hopes to race both the 200m and 400m at the world championships in London in August, when the 400m final comes about 2 1/2 hours after the 200m heats end.

Felix said in September that the missed opportunity in 2016 only made her more emboldened to go for the double in the future.

“Because my training was going so well before [the injury],” she said. “I’m just so curious what I could have done. That’s the thing that really eats me up, to know that I wasn’t at my best to be able to do it. To see where I would be in four years, I don’t know. Or at a world championships [in 2017 or 2019], I’m not sure.”

In 2020, Felix could try to become the oldest U.S. women’s Olympic medalist in an individual track and field event, beating the mark set by Jackie Joyner-Kersee at Atlanta 1996. By making the Olympic team, she would match the record for U.S. Olympic track and field appearances at five with Gail DeversAmy Acuff and Willye White.

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