Felix ready to compete in U.S. relay pool for worlds

(Reuters) – Six-times Olympic champion Allyson Felix will be a part of the United States’ 4×400 metres relay pool for next month’s world championships in Doha, her brother told Reuters on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 26, 2019; Des Moines, IA, USA; Allyson Felix (left) and Brionna Thomas run in a women’s 400m semifinal during the USATF Championships at Drake Stadium. Felix finished third in 51.45 to advance to the final in her first competition since giving birth to her daughter Camryn Ferguson on Nov. 28, 2018. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Felix, America’s most decorated track and field athlete, is making a comeback after giving birth to a daughter last year and had not competed for 13 months until July’s U.S. championships.

The 33-year-old qualified for the relay pool with a sixth place finish in the 400 metres at the U.S. meeting but had been undecided about accepting a spot due to concerns about her form.

However, after several weeks of consideration, she is looking forward to her ninth world championships, her brother and agent Wes Felix said.

“She is planning to run at world champs as long as the US team wants and needs her!” he said in a text message.

USA Track and Field (USATF) confirmed Felix was in the relay pool but said the official roster would not be submitted until after the Diamond League final in September.

Felix, an 11-times world champion, will prepare for Doha by competing in 400 metres races at Zagreb on Sept. 3 and in Minsk as part of the Sept. 9-10 USA-Europe meeting.

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Her daughter Camryn was delivered through an emergency caesarean section in November, 32 weeks into her pregnancy.

Felix wants to use this season to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which would be her fifth.

“I want to be back in the Olympics,” Felix said in July. “I want them more than anything. I want to go out on my terms.”

Twenty-eight Olympians, eight Olympic medallists and 11 world championship medallists are among the 139 athletes selected for the U.S. team for the Minsk meeting.

Rio Olympic gold medallists Michelle Carter and Brianna McNeal, and four-times world champion Brittney Reese are also headed to Minsk.

The men’s team will include current U.S. champions Donald Scott (triple jump), Craig Engels (1,500m), Hillary Bor (3,000m steeplechase), Jeron Robinson (high jump), Sam Mattis (discus), Conor McCullough (hammer throw) and 100m runner-up Mike Rodgers.

Many top U.S. athletes, including sprinters Noah Lyles and Justin Gatlin, pole vaulters Sam Kendricks and Sandi Morris, and Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser are skipping the meeting to prepare for the Sept. 27-Oct. 6 world championships in Doha.

(This copy corrects number of world championships for Felix in fourth para)

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris / Ian Ransom


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