Trayvon Bromell confirmed that he is an Olympic medal favorite, if not a 100m gold-medal favorite, winning at the last Diamond League meet before the Tokyo Games.
Bromell, who owns the world’s fastest time this year of 9.77 seconds, prevailed in 9.98 in Gateshead, Great Britain, on Tuesday.
“I’ll take the race. I’m just happy to cross the line with no injuries,” he said. “Just trying to tune up and get ready for Tokyo.”
It marked his first victory outside of the U.S. in five years, which is unsurprising given Bromell’s comeback journey.
He beat a field that included fellow Olympic medal contenders Andre De Grasse of Canada and Fred Kerley, who was third at the U.S. Olympic Trials behind Bromell and Ronnie Baker.
Last Friday, Bromell finished fifth in a 100m in Monaco that included all of the Olympic medal contenders. Baker won in 9.91 with a similar light tailwind as in Gateshead.
Bromell, after what he called “a misstep” off his usually exemplary start, crossed in 10.01 for his first 100m defeat since returning from career-threatening injuries in 2020.
“Shoot, if on probably the worst of worst days for a sprinter, I’m still running 10.01, I can’t be mad at that,” Bromell said on Monday.
Last week saw Baker and South African Akani Simbine stamp themselves as medal favorites, challenging Bromell. Simbine ran an African record 9.84 last Tuesday.
Bromell, whose once promising sprint career appeared over after a series of injuries from 2016-19, has been considered the favorite to succeed the retired Usain Bolt as Olympic 100m champion.
In 2014, an 18-year-old Bromell became the youngest man in history to break 10 seconds. By 2016, he was wheeled out of the Rio Olympics in a chair, finishing last in the 100m. He went two years between races after Achilles surgeries in 2016 and 2017 and barely raced until summer 2020.
The Diamond League takes its Olympic break before resuming in August. The Prefontaine Classic on Aug. 21 in Eugene, Oregon, will include Sha’Carri Richardson racing the 100m and 200m.
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