By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report/The Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA-Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix is coming off a 2012 track and field season that most sprinters would dream about.
Felix won the gold medal in the 200-meter dash (21.88) and she picked up more two more gold medals as a part of the women’s 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The 4×100-meter relay squad not only won the gold, but also set a new world record. Felix was named the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) 2012 Female Athlete of the Year.
The 27-year-old Felix also had first place finishes in the 200-meter dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. and won the 100-meter in the Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar. After winning in London, Felix took a well-deserved two-month break from the track, but was still busy with commercial endorsements and traveling.
With the start of the 2013 outdoor season, Felix said she has other mountains to climb and other goals to accomplish with the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa in June and the World Championships in Moscow looming on the horizon in August.
“I think any year after a major championship is difficult, just to get back moving coming off such a high,” Felix said during a press conference at the Penn Relays. “And so for me I’ve just been trying to take things slowly. I think this is going to be a season where I have a gradual build up and hopefully will come together at nationals.”
Felix got her outdoor season going last weekend when she ran the lead-off leg for USA Red in the 4×100-meter relay as a part of the Penn Relays USA versus the World.
Unlike the outcome at the London Olympics, Team Jamaica, led by Olympic 100-meter champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, edged out Felix’s USA Red squad at the Penn Relays.
“It’s always good competition, they’re always ready,” Felix said. “We know that they’re always going to be there and they’re our main rival.”
Going up against the competition from a loaded Jamaican squad and against a talented pool of American runners, Felix is gearing up for a season where there will definitely be getting the best efforts of her opposition at various meets this season.
“It’s always harder to run with a target on your back and it’s harder once you’ve had success to keep it,” Felix said. “It’s finding the motivation, making sure your work ethic is the same and I think after you have a major championship, you always kind a question a little bit, ‘am I working as I could be. You’re constantly trying to push yourself.”
After taking a couple of months off, Felix admitted that getting back into training mode wasn’t easy, but her coach Bobby Kersee, who is known to be a task master, got her ready for the 2013 season and back to her regular training regimen.
“I was out of shape, but Bobby whipped me back into shape,” Felix said smiling. “I’m just going to take things slowly this year and it’s going to be a gradual process to get back to where I need to be.”
Felix said her big goal this season is to make the U.S. team that will compete in the World Track and Field Championships in Russia and to ultimately equal or exceed her performance at the London Olympics.