World champion and American record holder Donavan Brazier shockingly failed to qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo after he finished 8th in the men’s 800m final at the 2021 U.S. Olympic track and field trials here at the iconic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on Monday, June 21. For results of the race click here.
Entering the championships, Brazier, who became the first American to win the World Championships gold medal in the 800m at Doha 2019, was seen as the favorite to win the national title, but he stunningly struggled in the final 200 meters and slowly faded into last place, much to the surprise of everyone around him.
The 24-year-old finished the race in 1:47.88, which is more than four seconds behind the winner, Clayton Murphy, who is heading to back-to-back Olympics following his bronze at the 2016 Rio Games.
“There’s things that champions overcome, and I couldn’t overcome them,” Brazier said. “So obviously, I’m not of that championship-caliber that I needed to be at.”
Murphy, who ran a couple of 1500m races this season to prepare for the trials, came well prepared on Monday evening, and he ran away with the victory in a world-leading time of 1:43.17.
Jewett Runs Race Of His Life For Tokyo Spot
USC senior Isaiah Jewett, the 2021 NCAA champion earlier this month, ran from the front for most of the race and although he was fading badly in the closing meters, the 24-year-old had just about enough left in the tank to hold off the fast finishers to take second place with a big-time new personal best of 1:43.85.
Bryce Hoppel, the fourth-place finisher at the world championships in Doha, two-years-ago, also punched his ticket to the Tokyo Olympics with a third-place finish on Monday in a new season’s best of 1:44.14.
Isaiah Harris dug deep in the last 100m to also run a seasonal best of 1:44.58, but just missed out on Tokyo, after crossing the finishing line in fourth place.
Brazier decided to hunt Jewett down for the lead early into the last lap and he admitted after the race that he might have made that move a bit too early and ran out of gas.