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Donavan Brazier upset at U.S. Olympic Trials

The reigning world 800m champion faded badly in Monday's final and will not be going to Tokyo

The biggest upset of the U.S. Olympic Trials so far happened in the men’s 800m race earlier this evening, when world champion Donavan Brazier suffered a breakdown in the final, finishing eighth (and last) in 1:47.88. At the bell, Brazier was in second position behind the eventual second-place finisher, recently-crowned NCAA champion Isaiah Jewett, who set a blistering pace almost from the gun and finished in a new PB of 1:43.85 behind 2016 bronze medallist Clayton Murphy in first place (who finished in a world-leading 1:43.17) and Bryce Hoppel in second, in a season’s best 1:44.14.

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“It was a shitty race,” Brazier said in his post-race interview. “I’m still gonna feel like I’m the best 800m runner in the world, when I go into meets, but today I just obviously wasn’t, and there were seven guys in front of me that proved it.”

In the women’s 1,500m final, Elle Purrier St. Pierre led from wire to wire, finishing in a Trials record and PB of 3:58.03. Behind her were Cory McGee in a PB of 4:00.67 and Heather MacLean in a PB (and Olympic standard) of 4:02.09. Maclean was a late addition to the final, having filed a protest after being tripped in the preliminary. 2021 will be her first Olympics.

The women’s 5K final also went tonight. It was a long, hot 12 and a half laps at Hayward Field, where the temperature hovered in the low 30s Celsius. The women took the race out at a conservative pace at first, and the field remained tightly packed for several laps, with some jostling, as Taylor Werner took on the brunt of the work at the front through a full 3,000m before relinquishing the front position to Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer, both of the Bowerman Track Club, who went one and two in 15:27.81 (a season’s best for Cranny) and 15.28.11, followed by Rachel Schneider in third, in 15:29.56. Abby Cooper, who ran away from the field in the prelim because she needed the Olympic standard, held on as long as she could with the leaders, ultimately finishing a heartbreaking fourth, in 15:31.05.

Results at a glance – U.S. teams for Tokyo

Men’s 800m

  1. Clayton Murphy
  2. Isaiah Jewett
  3. Bryce Hoppel

Women’s 1,500m

  1. Elle Purrier St. Pierre
  2. Cory McGee
  3. Heather MacLean

Women’s 5,000m

  1. Elise Cranny
  2. Karissa Schweizer
  3. Rachel Schneider

The action continues on the track at Hayward Field on Thursday, June 24, with the first round in the men’s 1,500m, women’s 200m, women’s 800m, men’s 400m hurdles and men’s 5,000, and the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final. For full results from the U.S. Olympic Trials and to follow along with the rest of the events, click here.