U.S. sprinter Walter Dix has been to the Olympic medal podium before. The 26 year Florida native won the bronze in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes at Beijing in 2008. When the U.S. track and field Olympic trials are held in June, Dix is almost certain to be a member of a very strong team of American sprinters. U.S. sprinters will face the world's best, including the very powerful Jamaican team that features Usain Bolt, the gold medalist in the 100 and 200 meters in Beijing, and the current world record holder in both events. But Dix foresees a breakout year for American sprinters, and believes he has a good shot at the top.
Since winning those two bronze medals at Beijing, Dix has had a great deal of success. He was first or second in several U.S. and international events in 2010 and 2011. He was the 100 meter champion and runner up in the 200 meters at the USA Outdoor Championships in 2010. Dix won both events in the 2011 USA Outdoor Championships. In the 2011 World Outdoor Championships, Dix was the silver medalist in the 100 meters, behind Jamaica's Yohan Blake; he was also second in the 200 meters behind Bolt.
Second in the World Championships is good, but Dix finished behind two of the world's best runners. Dix decided he needed to make a change if he was to reach the very top, so after the end of the 2011 season, he moved across the country to California. There, he began working with coach John Smith, who has coached several successful sprinters including gold medalist Maurice Greene, who won the 100 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The move paid off, and Dix has gotten off to a great start in 2012. In April at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California, Dix won the 100 meters in a wind aided 9.85 seconds. On April 28th, Dix anchored the victorious U.S. 4 X 100 relay team at the Penn Relays. Then at the opener of the Samsung Diamond League series in Doha, Qatar on May 11th, he won the 200 meters with a time of 20.02 seconds.
There's no question that Dix is an elite sprinter, and has been so for the last four years. To take it one step further and be the very best in the world, Dix must be able to defeat Bolt and Blake, not to mention fellow American Justin Gatlin. With the help of his new coach, Dix continues to improve. I see Dix as capable of being a multiple medal winner in the sprints and relays, and should not be counted out for the gold in any of the events he participates in. Dix, who is young enough to be an Olympian again in 2016, has a bright future, and may just be approaching his peak.
Mark Hudziak is a Featured Contributor in Sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is a long time fan of Olympic track and field.
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