IAAF alters schedule for Felix double
MONTE CARLO – The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has changed the schedule for the Rio Olympics so top American sprinter Allyson Felix can compete in both the 200 and 400 metres.
The change, accepted by the International Olympic Committee and Rio organisers, gives Felix more time between her opening round of the 200 metres and the final of the 400 metres, making the double plausible, the IAAF said on Saturday.
The Olympic 200 metres gold medallist and world 400 metres champion will now have more than 13 hours between races instead the 75 minutes allowed under the original schedule.
“I am excited,” Felix’s coach Bob Kersee told Reuters. “She has wanted to do this double and the schedule change gives her a better opportunity to win more medals for the United States.”
Felix had sought the change in hopes of becoming only the third women to win both events in the same Olympics.
American Valerie Brisco-Hooks claimed the honour at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and France’s Marie-Jose Perec won both at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
USA Track & Field (USATF) had requested the change.
“Allyson is the most decorated female athlete in IAAF history and should have the chance to go for a double, competing in what likely will be her fourth and final Olympic Games,” USATF chief executive Max Siegel said in a statement when making the request.
“Such an achievement would elevate the sport at the Games, and as a federation we owe it to her and to the sport as a whole to make the request.”
The change moves the first round of the women’s 200m from the evening of August 15 to the morning.
Her first 200m race is now set for 9:30 AM in Rio with the 400m final remaining at 10:45 PM, according to the IAAF website.
To accommodate the change, the opening round of the women’s 400m hurdles was moved from the morning to the evening of the 15th. (Reuters)