Eugene, United States: Allyson Felix began her quest to qualify for a fifth consecutive Olympics, with a comfortable victory in the first 400m heats at the U.S. track and field test on Friday.
The 35-year-old star, the only female athlete in history to win six Olympic gold medals in the track, finished at Hayward Field in a time of 50.99 sec.
That time was outside of her best season of 50.66 sec. And was better than her personal best of 49.26, but was more than good enough to see her in the next round.
“It’s nice to be back,” Felix said afterwards, adding that she was saving energy for the later rounds.
‘This is my fifth and final Olympic Test, so I’m trying to take it all. Just want to taste it and be smart. I really want to pick up this team. ”
Felix was forced to adjust her training program again last year after the pandemic forced the postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo by one year.
Felix, who plans to retire after the Tokyo Games, said the postponement at least gave her daughter the opportunity to be more aware of her mother’s job.
“It’s really cool. “At first I was so disappointed that everything was postponed, but then I just started to see the silver lining in everything, and this is one of the big ones – she is so aware and can enjoy it too,” said Felix.
The top-three finishes will be discussed in the U.S. team for Tokyo, but athletes who finish outside the top-three can still travel to Japan as members of Japan.
Spain names NBA star Paul Gasol
Spain, meanwhile, have included Pau Gasol in their preliminary squad for the Olympics on Saturday, according to a report from Madrid.
The 40-year-old Gasol was one of the 18 players called up by coach Sergio Scariolo to prepare for the Tokyo Games. Only 12 players will make the final team.
The two-time NBA champion is trying to play in his fifth Olympics. He was picked up after suffering a long-term injury and a successful return to Barcelona this season. He turns 41 before the matches open on July 23.
Gasol’s brother, Marc, also made the list, as did Ricky Rubio. Both were key for Spain when they won the World Cup in China two years ago. A total of eight world champions are on the provisional list. Marc Gasol plays for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Other names in the group include Rudy Fernandez, Sergio Rodriguez, Alex Abrines, Sergio Llull and newcomer Usman Garuba, who is expected to be a first choice in the NBA draft next month.