Felix relishes rematch at worlds after close 400 loss in Rio
LONDON (AP) The scrapes for Shaunae Miller-Uibo have no doubt healed. The scars from the loss for Allyson Felix have not.
Miller-Uibo used a head-first dive at the finish to beat her American rival in the 400-meter final at the Rio de Janeiro Games last August.
Felix is very much looking forward to the rematch Wednesday at the world championships as she tries to defend her title. Defeats are rare for Felix, and never sit well with her, especially the way this one unfolded. Miller-Uibo, who is from the Bahamas, jumped out to an early lead, then held off Felix’s charge along the straightaway. Side-by-side with two steps to go, Miller sprawled and tumbled across the line to win by 0.07 seconds.
”I never get past losses. They just motivate me,” Felix said. ”It’s a part of my story.”
A lot has changed for Miller-Uibo since that day in Brazil. Namely, she got married earlier this year to Estonian decathlete Maicel Uibo.
Miller-Uibo and Felix had two of the fastest times in the semifinals. The top time, though, belonged to Salwa Eid Naser, who represents Bahrain and set a national record in 50.08 seconds.
Felix will be chasing after her 10th gold medal at the worlds. She’s also planning on being a part of the 4×100 and 4×400 relay squads.
”I figure when my career is done, I’ll look back and kind of appreciate everything,” said Felix, who skipped her signature event, the 200 – where Miller-Uibo is among the favorites – to concentrate on the 400. ”You never want to underestimate anyone that’s in the race. Just looking forward to executing my race.”
A look at Day 6 of the world championships:
BIG HURDLE TO CLEAR: American runner Kerron Clement stays motivated by thinking about history. Should he win the 400-meter hurdles final, Clement would become the only person to win three world golds in the event. His other titles were in 2007 and `09. ”I’m just more hungry,” said the 31-year-old Clement, who captured Olympic gold in Brazil. ”Those young guys, they motivate me so much. I have to stay on top of my game. They’re chasing me. I’m excited to have another opportunity.”
TAKING THEIR BEST SHOT: With Valerie Adams of New Zealand and Christina Schwanitz of Germany both on the sideline this season, there are no past world champions in the mix for the women’s shot put title. Among those who could take the top spot are Michelle Carter of the United States, who is the Olympic champion, and Gong Lijiao of China. Those two led the way in qualifying Tuesday.
HAMMER ON: The top nine hammer throws in the world this season all belong to defending world champion Pawel Fajdek of Poland. Still, he’s carrying some baggage heading into the qualifying round Wednesday. Fajdek struggled at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and stunningly didn’t advance to the final. He said he had low energy in Brazil. The final is Friday and Fajdek’s top challenger in London may be teammate Wojciech Nowicki, who beat Fajdek at the Polish national championships.
MO POWER: The Kenyans and Ethiopians could scheme against British runner Mo Farah to keep him from winning the 5,000 meters. The field tried that sort of tactic for the 10,000 earlier in the championships and Farah still won. He’s going for his fourth straight 5,000 title, with the prelims Wednesday and the final set for Saturday. His plan after this season is to go to the marathon.
NO BOLT: Still a little hard to believe – the 200-meter semifinals will go off and Usain Bolt won’t be in the mix. The Jamaican great has captured four straight titles in the event, but decided to sit this one out. That leaves Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa as the favorite.
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