Felix heads powerful U.S. team for worlds

RALEIGH, North Carolina, (Reuters) – Three-times 200  metres winner Allyson Felix is among eight defending champions  named in a powerful 129-member U.S. world championships team  announced by USA Track & Field (USATF) yesterday.

The versatile Felix will attempt to become the first woman  to win gold medals at both 200 and 400 metres in a world  championship during the Aug. 27-Sept 4 competition in Daegu,  South Korea.
“I think it is going to be extremely difficult but I am  excited to challenge myself,” Felix told Reuters in a recent  interview.

She also hopes to run on both the 4×100 and 4×400 metres  relays, where she won gold in 2007 .
One of her chief rivals in the 400 will be defending world  champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who on Saturday ran the year’s  second fastest time.

Olympic and world men’s 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt,  who recently completed a 21-month doping suspension, also  returns.

Five other 2009 world champions will be back for the  Americans — 400 metres hurdler Kerron Clement, shot putter  Christian Cantwell, decathlete Trey Hardee, and long jumpers  Dwight Phillips and Brittney Reese.

The team also has seven world leaders for 2011 in Reese,  hurdler David Oliver, decathlete Ashton Eaton, high jumper Jesse  Williams, women’s sprinters Carmelita Jeter (100) and Shalonda  Solomon (200) and pole vaulter Jenn Suhr.

Both Jeter and Walter Dix, the double Olympic bronze  medallist, will tackle the 100-200 metres double against  Jamaica’s talented sprinters.

The U.S. 100 metres team and 4×100 metres relay pool also  includes former Olympic and world champion Justin Gatlin, who  finished runner-up to Dix in his second year back from a  four-year doping suspension.

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