EUGENE, Oregon — Olympic champion Brianna McNeal will race against nine women in semi-final one of the women’s 100m hurdles as she continues to compete at the 2021 US Olympic track and field championships while her appeal against a doping ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport is pending.
USATF Add Extra Athlete As A Precaution?
McNeal, who is facing a five-year ban for violating anti-doping rules, is allowed to compete at the trials as her appeal with CAS remains unresolved, and she will start against a very strong lineup in the first semi-finals here at Hayward Field.
USA Track and Field has opted to name an extra athlete to McNeal’s heat and in every round of the event as long as she continues to compete as it awaits her pending outcome.
The 29-year-old looked unbothered when cruising to a 12.50 seconds victory to win her heat on Saturday, as she remains “patient” in knowing the outcome of her case. McNeal is confident that she will be able to defend her title later this summer, but if the five-year ban is upheld it would prevent her from not only compete at Tokyo Olympics but the 2024 Summer Games in Paris as well.
On Sunday, the Rio 2016 champion is expected to be challenged by the fastest American this season in Tonea Marshall, although the LSU senior is being bothered by a hamstring problem she picked up at last week’s NCAA Championships.
Taliyah Brooks, who looked solid when winning her heat on Saturday with a personal best of 12.61s will also line up in the first semi-finals, along with 2018 World Indoor 60m hurdles silver medalist Christina Clemons and Olympic bronze medalist Kristi Castlin.
Also making up the very strong semi-final one heat are Gabbi Cunningham, Alia Armstrong of LSU and Evonne Britton.
Harrison vs. Cockrell In Second Semi-final
In the meantime, world record holder Keni Harrison will race from the second semi-final where she will have the likes of Queen Claye and Anna Cockrell for company.
Harrison posted the fastest time from the first round heats on Saturday with a 12.49s posting and looked well in control when doing so.
NCAA champion Cockrell wasn’t at her best when taking heat three in 12.63s, but has a personal best of 12.54 so I am expecting her to progress to the final.
Rayniah Jones, the Central Florida representative, is also in the semis with Payton Chadwick, TeJyrica Robinson from North Carolina A&T, Florida’s Grace Stark and Chanel Brissett of Texas seeking places into the final as well.
The women’s 100m hurdles semi-finals at the 2021 US Olympic track and field trials are scheduled for 9:03 pm ET with the final set for an hour and 40 minutes later.