NEW YORK, NY – Two highly featured men’s races will take place at the 114th Millrose Games on Saturday, January 29th at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center: The Mike Frankfurt Invitational Men’s 800m and the Invitational Men’s 400m.
The Men’s 800m is headlined by Michael Saruni, the 2019 Millrose Games 800m champion. His mark of 1:43.98 in that race is the third-fastest indoor performance in history. Saruni is also the former world record holder in the indoor 600m and the 2018 NCAA 800m champion, and he represented Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics.
“It will be really great to come back to The Armory and the Millrose Games where I had such a great winning race,” Saruni said.
Bryce Hoppel returns to Millrose after placing second in the 800m in 2020. Hoppel qualified for the final at the 2019 World Championships, placing fourth, before reaching the semifinals at last summer’s Olympics. Also competing is Hoppel’s Team USA compatriot Isaiah Jewett, who was the 2021 NCAA 800m champion before running in Tokyo.
Four other Olympians will take part in this race, including Charlie Hunter of Australia, who also won a pair of NCAA titles while at the University of Oregon. He will be joined by a pair of national record holders: Jesus Tonatiu Lopez of Mexico, and Saul Ordoñez Gavela of Spain. Mark English of Ireland is a two-time Olympian and three-time European Championship medalist. Rounding out the field is the experienced Isaiah Harris, who won at the London Diamond League meet last summer.
One notable name who is missing in the 800m is defending world champion and American record holder Donavan Brazier. Brazier, who set the indoor 800m American record in his victory at the 2020 Millrose Games, has instead opted for the Men’s 400m. This will be Brazier’s first race since suffering an injury at the Olympic Trials last June, and all eyes will be on the middle-distance superstar as he plots his comeback.
“I’m really excited about running the 400m at Millrose,” Brazier said. “I look forward to the challenge, and it is also part of our plan for continued improvement in the 800 meters.”
Brazier will face a stiff challenge in the form of Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor, who finished sixth in last summer’s Olympic final. Another athlete to watch will be Vernon Norwood, a mainstay on the 400m circuit who placed fourth in the Zurich Diamond League final. Also competing is the inspirational Hunter Woodhall, a double amputee who is a three-time Paralympic medalist and three-time NCAA All-American.