Athletics: IAAF alters Rio schedule so Allyson Felix can go for Olympic 200-400m double

Allyson Felix poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot.
Allyson Felix poses for a portrait at the USOC Rio Olympics Shoot. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has changed the schedule for the Rio Olympics so top American sprinter Allyson Felix can compete in both the 200 and 400 metres.

The change, accepted by the International Olympic Committee and Rio organisers, gives her more time between her opening round of the 200m and the final of the 400m, making the double plausible, the IAAF said on Saturday.

The Olympic 200m gold medallist and world 400m champion will now have more than 13 hours between races instead the 75 minutes allowed under the original schedule.

Felix had sought the change in hopes of becoming only the third woman to win both events in the same Olympics. American Valerie Brisco-Hooks claimed the honour at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and France's Marie-Jose Perec won both at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The change moves the first round of the women's 200m from the evening of Aug 15 to the morning.

Her first 200m race is now set for 9.30am in Rio with the 400m final remaining at 10.45pm, according to the IAAF website.

To accommodate the change, the opening round of the women's 400m hurdles was moved from the morning to the evening of the 15th.