Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 31st 2015 Contents A61
Monday, August 31, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BEIJING---If Allyson Felix feels tired
now, just wait until next year.
The American sprinter would like to
have the opportunity to run the 200 and
400 metres at the Olympics in Rio de
Janeiro. Trouble is, the schedule right
now really doesn t allow for it. Not
enough recovery time.
Given that she s one of track s biggest
names, the International Olympic Com-
mittee said it will at least consider revising
the programme. Felix finished with gold
in the 400 metres at the world cham-
pionships in Beijing, along with silvers
in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Although exhausted, she had plenty
more left, too. Enough to commit to two
individual sprint events in Brazil? If it is
made possible, of course.
"My job is to be fit enough to try and
just try to make the team (in both sprint
events)," Felix said Sunday after the con-
clusion of the championships. "It s a hard
team to make. That s my goal, to be in
a position to do that."
Keep up that training, Allyson, because
the IAAF would be happy to investigate
such a schedule change.
"When we have extraordinarily talented
athletes, being able to get them into a
program where they re able to be seen
as often as possible is ideal," said Sebas-
tian Coe, who was recently elected pres-
ident of IAAF. "Where it is possible we
should always look to try and help that."
The change is not without precedent.
American sprint great Michael Johnson
campaigned for a rearrangement of the
200 and 400 events before the 1996
Atlanta Games. He got his wish and
became the first male to win both at the
Felix is the reigning Olympic champion
in the 200, and she certainly showed her
versatility by capturing the 400 at the
worlds. Had the schedule been more flex-
ible, Felix would have gone for the double
this week, just like she did at the worlds
in 2011 when she finished third in the
200 and second in the 400.
In Beijing, there were only 65 minutes
between the 200-metre semifinals and
the 400 final. That s asking too much,
even of Felix.
Give her a little more recovery time
in Rio and four medals could be possi-
"We go through a lot of practice," Felix
said. "So when I come out here and we
have rounds, this is a lot easier than a
work week (at practice)."
With gold in the 400, Felix now has
nine world titles, which only trails that
sprinter named Usain Bolt and his 11.
She had a chance to add to that in the
4x100, but Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led
Jamaica to the crown. Another shot in
the 4x400, too, with Felix running the
third leg instead of the anchor. She hand-
ed the baton off to Francena McCorory,
who couldn t hold off Novlene Williams-
"It was a hard-fought race," Felix said.
"We just didn t have it tonight."
Sprint double could
be waiting Felix
Allyson Felix of the United States, left, Francena Mccorory and Sanya Richards-Ross, right,
watch as the Jamaican team celebrate their gold medal in the women's 4x400m relay at the
World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, yesterday. AP PHOTO
BEIJING---The situation wasn t ideal. The gold
With the world high jump title hinging on a jump-
off in front of a raucous crowd at the Bird s Nest
chanting for his Chinese rival, Derek Drouin needed
to dig deep to find an advantage somewhere.
In the deep recesses of his memory, he said he
recalled a jump-off against a teammate at the very
beginning of his high jump career. And when it came
down to breaking a three-way tie for first on Sunday,
that experience as a teenager helped.
After missing four attempts at 2.36 meters in the
wet conditions---including one in the knockout round
with the runners in last track event of the champi-
onships milling all around him---the bar was lowered
to 2.34 meters.
Drouin cleared it on the first go.
Bohdan Bondarenko, the 2013 world champion,
and Zhang Guowei of China both missed, rushing
as the starters in the 4x400-metre relay were prepar-
ing to get into the blocks. They shared silver after
missing their attempts.
Neither of them had any experience of being in
a jump-off to determine victory.
"I really felt like I was the one to beat. I felt like
this was my championship to lose based on how I
was jumping coming in," Drouin said of his first world
title. "I told myself so many times, You can win this.
You can win this. When it finally happened, it was
just a relief."
Drouin s victory followed bronze medals at the
Olympics and world championships. In April 2014,
he became just the 10th man to clear 2.40 meters,
so he had reason to be confident.
The gold medal was Canada s second of the worlds
and eighth overall, good enough for seventh place in
the medal standings.
China won nine medals, but only one gold. So the
big Chinese crowd came into play in the jump-off.
"I felt like it was an unfortunate situation being
in a jump-off with (Zhang), because obviously no
one is going for you," Drouin said. "I maybe would
have started a clap if I d thought people were going
to jump on board, but it s the advantage of home
soil. He got that opportunity this time.
"I was able to work with what I had, what was
dealt me. It s so hard not get over-amped in a situation
BEIJING---It was a fitting end for
the hometown fans at the Bird s
China captured two more medals
on the final day of the world cham-
pionships to cap an unexpectedly
successful week with a record nine
medals---more than double its total
from Moscow two years ago.
"We won medals across the dis-
ciplines," said Du Zhaocai, director
of the Chinese athletics association.
"It s a first for us in a world-class
Yesterday, Zhang Guowei won a
silver medal in the men s high jump
and Lyu Huihui matched him in the
women s javelin. Competing at the
same time but on opposite ends of
the stadium, Zhang and Lyu had the
Bird s Nest hopping.
Midway through the evening,
Zhang celebrated a clean jump by
striking a kung fu crane pose---a la
Ralph Macchio s character in "The
Karate Kid"---drawing cheers and
laughter from the Chinese fans.
Moments later, Lyu took the lead in
the javelin throw and the stadium
"It just felt great," said Lyu, who
set an Asian record with a throw of
66.13 metres. "It s my first time to
be competing on my own doorstep.
There were so many in the crowd
Zhang, who took up high jumping
when he was 15, cleared 2.33 metres
to make a jump-off for the gold, but
settled for second behind Derek
Drouin of Canada after missing his
only attempt at 2.34.
It was China s first high jump
medal since Zhang s boyhood idol,
Zhu Jianhua, won bronze at the 1983
"A lot of pressure," the 24-year-
old Zhang said. "I did not want to
leave the spectators down."
China s athletes have been excelling
under pressure all week---particularly
in events where it doesn t have a
Take the long jump. Wang Jianan,
a fresh-faced 19-year-old kid from
northeastern Liaoning province,
shook off a hamstring injury to win
the bronze in front of another bois-
terous crowd, China s first-ever
medal in the event.
Su Bingtian, meanwhile, not only
became the first Asian sprinter to
reach the men s 100-metre final at
the world championships, he and his
teammates also captured a startling
silver in the 4x100 relay behind Usain
Bolt and the rest of the Jamaican
And race walker Liu Hong finally
broke through to win gold in the 20-
kilometre walk---the country s only
title at the world championships---
after taking home silver and two
bronzes at the last three worlds.
Zhang, the high jumper, said he
drew inspiration from his podium-
hopping teammates this week---even
if he didn t watch them in action.
"I thought I might get too excited,"
he said. "The high jump is on the
last day of the competition so I want-
ed to stay calm." With China hoping
for an encore performance next year
in Rio de Janeiro, Zhang may want
to tune in for the show.
China wraps up with two more medals
China's Zhang Guowei clears the bar on his way to winning the silver
medal in the men's high jump at the World Athletic Championships at the
Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, yesterday. AP PHOTO
first world title
Links Archive August 30th 2015 September 1st 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page