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American Sprinter Felix readies for Rio

Felix will still be representing the US in the 400 meter run with hopes of earning a spot on the US relay teams. Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters Beverly Hills, United States Jul 14, 2016, 05.15 AM (IST)
American sprinter Allyson Felix promises to be ready for Rio next month after a "disappointing" performance at the US Olympic trials that saw her fall short of qualifying to run a 200/400 double at the games.

"I do feel good going into Rio, my focus has not shifted from what I had hoped to do," said Felix, who met with the media in Beverly Hills following the trials.

"I think that what happened to me was just unfortunate. I think injuries are a part of sport and it is something that you just have to deal with. For me I feel so grateful to have made this team at all as two months ago I was not walking at all. So its pretty amazing to me that I'm still going to Rio and while it doesn't look exactly how I hoped it would. But I'm still going after it with everything I have."

The defending Olympic champion at the 200 metre distance finished fourth at the trials, one spot short of earning the chance to defend her title.

Felix cited a freak ankle injury in the spring that impacted her training. She will still be representing the US in the 400 metre run with hopes of earning a spot on the US relay teams.

"I'm very hopeful to be on the relays and I'm very and I hope to be on the 4x100 and the 4X400," said Felix. "I think my biggest issue with running with the injury was running out of time, really. Now that I have another month to get back to 100 per cent I feel confident that I will be ready to go when it comes to Rio."

The 30-year-old sprinter told Reuters though that she's not letting the potential threat of the Zika virus cast a shadow over the games in Brazil.

"I think obviously it is a real concern," said Felix. "Yes it is, but I think for me I have to place my faith in the authorities that's there and if the USOC is telling us that we're ok to go and compete than that is what I'm going to do."

Felix is less confident though about that the ongoing doping issues surrounding track and field.

"I would hope that the playing field is more level," said Felix. "But, I would say that my confidence isn't high to think that there are not real issues. Just the number of scandals we see now just shows the real issues that are there in sports. It is very hard to deal with as a clean athlete. You are going to the biggest race of your life and you hope that that is a clean race. But can you say that you are a 100 per cent that you are sure. I don't think that you can say that so. It is hard I think but I hope we are moving in the right direction. I think that exposing athletes that are happening now is I think is a step in the right direction."

The 2016 Olympic games in Rio will open on August 6th and run through August 22.

(Reuters)
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