World 800m champion Donavan Brazier was one of three runners to break an American record at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday, kicking off the Olympic year.
Brazier took .01 off his American indoor 800m record, winning in 1:44.21 on Staten Island in New York City.
Brazier, looking to become the first American to win an Olympic 800m since hat-wearing Dave Wottle in 1972, is undefeated in races he has finished at that distance since June 2019.
“[Coach] Pete [Julian] wanted me to go out and die,” Brazier said of his pace. “I was just trying to see what kind of shape I was in.”
U.S. athletes are preparing for the Olympic Trials in June in Eugene, Oregon, where the top three in most events are in line to go to Tokyo. The next top-level international track meets are outdoors, with the Diamond League starting in late May.
In other events, world champion Noah Lyles won the 200m in 20.80 seconds in his first time running the event indoors in four years. Lyles, who wore a cheetah-like-design singlet and Dunder Mifflin socks, was not pleased with the time.
“Time wasn’t all that,” said Lyles, the fourth fastest outdoor 200m runner in history with a personal best of 19.50 seconds. “I’m really strong right now, but my speed isn’t all there.”
Michael Norman, the fastest 400m runner in this Olympic cycle, edged training partner Rai Benjamin — 45.34 to 45.39. Benjamin is the world 400m hurdles silver medalist.
Trayvon Bromell, who re-emerged from injuries last year to become an Olympic 100m medal contender, won the 60m in 6.50.
Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won the 400m in 50.21. She defeated a field that included the top American at each of the last two world championships — Wadeline Jonathas (fourth in 2019) and Phyllis Francis (world champion in 2017). Miller-Uibo might not race the 400m in Tokyo in favor of the 200m.
Teahna Daniels, the reigning U.S. 100m champion, failed to finish her preliminary heat in the women’s 60m. Aleia Hobbs, the 2018 U.S. 100m champion, false started out of the final. Jamaican 18-year-old phenom Briana Williams did not start the final. After all that, Kayla White won in 7.15.
Keni Harrison, the world-record holder in the 100m hurdles, won the 60m hurdles in 7.82 seconds.
Harrison, who lowered that world record in 2016 after failing to make the Olympic team, will bid to make one of the deepest U.S. teams for Tokyo. The U.S. boasted seven of the top 10 women in the world in 2019, though reigning Olympic champion Brianna McNeal is currently provisionally suspended.
Elle Purrier took 8.07 seconds off Jenny Simpson‘s American indoor two-mile record. Purrier lowered the American indoor mile record last year.
Bryce Hoppel, fourth in the 2019 Worlds 800m, broke the U.S. indoor 1000m record by .49 by clocking 2:16.27.
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