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VCB's indoor win puts US girls on guard

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VCB's indoor win puts US girls on guard on Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:03 pm



file -Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown (left) is congratulated by her great rival, the United States' Allyson Felix, after winning Olympic gold in the women's 200m final in 2008.
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, USA:

America's top female sprinters have admitted being very impressed by arch rival Veronica Campbell-Brown's recent World Indoor Champion-ships win in the 60 metres, a distance not many favoured for the Jamaican considering her history of being sluggish at the start.

Campbell-Brown won the race in a personal best time of 7.00 seconds in Doha, Qatar, leaving behind the likes of Carmelita Jeter of the United States, who ran the second fastest 100 metres ever for women late last year.

bigger threat

Both Jeter and fellow American Allyson Felix now believe the 27-year-old Jamaican, with improved explosion out of the blocks, will be even a bigger threat in both the 100 and 200 metres this season, plus next year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics (WCA) outdoor meet and the 2012 Olympic Games.

"It was very impressive," Felix said of Campbell-Brown's mid-March victory while attending the Penn Relays here last weekend, where she ran the second leg on both U.S. 4x100 and 4x400 winning teams.

"She didn't race a lot and so for her to pull that off was amazing; and it was a great time."

According to Jeter, who is slated to run at this weekend's Jamaica International Invitational meet in Kingston, Doha proved that Campbell-Brown, despite leaving without a gold medal at the 2009 WCA, a meet she entered as the defending 100 meters champion, must never be overlooked in topclass competition.

never count her out

"She ran a great race and you can never count her out," said the American, who finished third at the World Indoors but anchored the winning U.S. 4x100 team at Penns. "She's a phenomenal athlete."

But while Jeter must brace for stiff competition from several other Jamaicans in the 100 metres as well, including Olympic and WCA champion Shelly-Ann Fraser and Kerron Stewart, a silver medalist in the event at both global meets, Felix knows her legacy will forever be tied to Campbell-Brown in the 200 metres.

The wiry American has won the last three World Championship titles, but the Jamaican holds the 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold medals. According to Felix, she would not hesitate to swap her WCA medals for one of Campbell-Brown's Olympic gold.

"I mean I think anybody would rather an Olympic medal than a World Championship," said the American who finished second to Campbell-Brown in Athens and Beijing.

"The Olympics is just something that, you know, is so different and, you know, so special."

Felix, never quick out of the blocks herself, has no plans to mimic Campbell-Brown's indoor preparation. Her focus this year is on building momentum for WCA 2011 and, especially, the 2012 Olympics.

"Just kinda regroup for the next three years that are really gonna be intense," she said. "So for me it's just a really good year to focus on performances and just try a few new things.

something different

" ... I'm definitely not focused on the 60. Actually this year I'm gonna run more 400s. So yeah, I'm just trying to see what opportunities are there and, for the off year, something different to do."

Campbell-Brown's 'warning shot' from Doha has certainly grabbed the attention of both Jeter and Felix. They know they must always account for the Jamaican.

"(Campbell-Brown) is always a person to look out for," said Jeter.

"Oh yeah," added Felix. "I think it's always a great race when we run against each other. I enjoy racing her. And we push each other."

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