Hubert Lawrence assesses ‘The Felix Double’

first_imgThe mission Allyson Felix has chosen to accept is still difficult. When the superb American ran the 200-400m double at the 2011 World Championships, the schedule was perfect.Now, even though the overlap between the 200m and 400m has been eased for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Felix still has a tough road to travel.In 2011, in Daegu, South Korea, the 400 metres and the 200m were separated by a day of rest. At the 2012 Olympics, the 200m started the day after the 400 metres ended but with the 200m heats and semis on the same day.Overlap between the two sprints appeared at the 2013 World Championships, and even though the gap between the 200m heats and the 400m final has been extended from 75 minutes to 13 hours at this year’s Olympic Games, they are still on the same day.WAY TO GOLDIt would be far better for the 30-year-old American if the Daegu schedule was reintroduced. In fact, when US superstar Michael Johnson fought to do the same double in the 1996Olympics, he insisted on a day to rest in between the 400m and the 200m. Not only is that rest day absent for Felix, but the elegant American still has to run a 200m and a 400m on the same day.In other words, if she does qualify for both events at the US Olympic Trials, she will have to run once on day two and three; twice on day four at 9.30 a.m. local time in her 200m heat and in the 400m final at 10.45 p.m. local time; and then once on both days five and six.As good as the four-time individual World Champion is, she obviously doesn’t have the clout Johnson had in 1996 when he was the undisputed king of athletics. If she got her way, it would be a good guess that others might try the double.Bahamian Shaunae Miller, second to Felix in the 400m last year at the Worlds, is nippy over 200 metres. If the overlap remains, Miller might be best advised to skip it to save all her energy for the 400 metres.That event could have the last two Olympic winners, American Sanya Richards-Ross and Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and a likely Jamaican trio from the quartet of World bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, Christine Day, Stephenie McPherson, and Novlene Williams-Mills in Felix’s way to gold.In the meantime, Daphne Schippers of Holland and the Jamaican pair of Elaine Thompson and Veronica Campbell-Brown, who went 1-2-3 at last year’s World Championships, and the rest of the world’s best 200-metre runners, are probably breathing a sigh of relief. Instead of facing the reigning Olympic 200m champion when she is relatively fresh, they will face Felix in the final of the curved sprint on her sixth consecutive day of action.Add 2012 Olympic runner-up Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and young British star Dina Asher-Smith to the mix and the task for Felix gets tougher.Given that they will all have rested after the 100m ends on day two of the Olympics athletics programme and before the 200m starts on day four, they still hold the advantage.n Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.last_img read more

Mwalala eyes crucial away goal in Horoya trip

first_img0Shares0000Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala chats with members of his technical bench during a training session in Nairobi. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Bandari FC tactician Bernard Mwalala says getting an away goal will be crucial when they take on Guinean side Horoya in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round in Conakry, Guinea on Sunday.The dockers travelled to Conakry Tuesday night, way in advance as they look to acclimatize and get themselves used to the conditions on and off the pitch for the crucial tie. Mwalala believes they stand a chance against Horoya and scoring an away goal will be key for them to achieve history and progress to the group stages of the competition for the first time ever.“I have watched how they play and analyzed them. They are a tough side and score a lot of goals with a very dangerous striking line. But, I have noticed that they also concede a lot and if we do our best, we can score against them,” Mwalala told Capital Sport.Bandari FC players hurdle together for prayer before their CAF Confederations Cup first leg first round tie against Tunisia’s US Ben Guerdane. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluHe added; “We need to be very alert in defense but also take our chances when we get them. If we can score a goal away, no matter the result, I believe we can finish the job at home.”Bandari progressed to the knockout round for the first time ever after beating Tunisian outfit US Ben Guardane 3-2 on aggregate.They lost 2-1 in Tunisia having won 2-0 in the home tie. Mwalala says they have picked massive confidence and experience from the two-legged tie against the Tunisian outfit as well as their preliminary round win over Sudan’s Al Ahly Shendy.“We have been improving game by game and getting better. The players now know what it means to play at this stage and it has helped build our belief and focus. We have never been at this stage before so for us it is a new experience which we want to enjoy,” Mwalala added.Victory over the two legs will sail the dockers to the group stages, but Mwalala says they do not want to build pressure on themselves by thinking about that huge leap, instead their focus is on each of the next two games.0Shares0000(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more