Boris Berian

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WATCH LIVE: Allyson Felix, Boris Berian compete in track and field finals

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Three more finals are on the track and field schedule for Monday, with the medal winners in men’s pole vault, men’s 800 and women’s 400 being determined.

In the women’s 400, American Allyson Felix is looking to win her first medal in this particular event. In her career Felix has won six Olympic medals, with three coming in the 200 (one gold, two silver) and the others as part of relay teams (three gold). Felix took gold in the 400 at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, and she enters the final as the favorite to take gold tonight.

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Felix is one of three Americans in the 400 final, with Phyllis Richards and Natasha Hastings being the other two. Also in the final are Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas and Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, who finished second and third behind Felix at last year’s Worlds.

WATCH LIVE: Men’s pole vault, men’s 800 and women’s 400 finals — 7:15 p.m. Eastern

The men’s pole vault will be the first final of the night, with American Sam Kendricks part of the field. Kendricks was one of five competitors to reach the 5.70 meter mark in qualifying, with reigning Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France being another. 2012 bronze medalist Raphael Holzdeppe, who also took silver at last year’s world championships, failed to qualify for the final as did 2015 World Championships co-bronze medalist Paweł Wojciechowski of Poland.

Canada’s Shawnacy Barber and Poland’s Piotr Lisek, who both won a medal at the worlds with Barber taking gold, qualified for the final.

The men’s 800 has two Americans competing in Boris Berian and Clayton Murphy making the cut for the final. But the clear favorite is Kenya’s David Rudisha, who took gold at last summer’s World Championships and is also the reigning Olympic champion. Rudisha is the only medalist from last year’s Worlds in the final, with fourth-place finisher Ferguson Rotich of Kenya and fifth-place finisher Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France in the final.

There will also be qualifying heats in the women’s discus, men’s 110 hurdles and women’s 400 hurdles run throughout the evening.

Sole search: Nike lawsuit behind him, Boris Berian competes at Olympic Trials

Boris Berian
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — It’s not so much the logo on the outside of the shoes as the feet on the inside that can carry Boris Berian to the Olympics.

After Nike dropped its lawsuit against him last week, the 800-meter runner was able to concentrate solely on racing. Berian turned in the fastest time in the first round Friday at the U.S. Track and Field Trials while wearing new spikes from New Balance.

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders,” said the 23-year-old Berian, who flipped burgers at a McDonald’s in Colorado Springs, Colorado, two years ago to make ends meet while he trained. “I didn’t know how much it was really bothering me until (Nike) dropped it.”

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There was a time when Berian didn’t even know if he would be allowed to compete at trials given the state of the lawsuit.

At a meet in May in Southern California, Berian was sued by Nike Inc., which accused him of breach of contract. His endorsement deal with Nike went through Dec. 31, 2015, but gave the company the right to match any other offers. Nike felt it matched an offer presented by New Balance Athletics Inc., which Berian preferred.

A judge was scheduled to issue a ruling earlier this week before Nike announced it was dropping the suit.

“I was just trying to stay as focused as I can — keep all the crazy, legal stuff to my agent and lawyers and me relax and focus on running,” Berian said. “I was definitely annoyed every single day, just kept training.”

Now, he’s a clear favorite to earn an Olympic spot at the Rio Games, especially after an opening round of the 800 in which NCAA champion Donavan Brazier and 2012 Olympian Duane Solomon failed to qualify. Another favorite, Nick Symmonds, withdrew the day before because of a torn ligament and stress fracture in his left ankle.

“I have some great competition out here. Can’t let off too much,” Berian said. “Got to keep pushing it. Can’t underestimate anyone out here.”

Berian is a bit of a cult hero to some of his competitors for standing up to Nike. Several have praised him for not backing down under the pressure.

“They give me a lot of good support,” Berian said. “We’re like a family. Even though we’re enemies on the track, we’re all good friends.”

His new shoes arrived two days ago. He’s still breaking them in.

“It was a good present,” Berian said. “It made me happy.”

MORE: Usain Bolt out of Jamaican Olympic Trials (hamstring), still hopes for Rio

Nike drops lawsuit against Olympic hopeful Boris Berian

Boris Berian
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nike dropped its lawsuit against Boris Berian over what brand of gear he wears, freeing the middle-distance runner to concentrate on the Olympic Trials next week.

Berian is emerging as one of the feel-good stories with the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on the horizon. He’s an 800-meter runner who flipped burgers at a McDonald’s in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to make ends meet while he trained.

At a meet last month in Southern California, Berian was sued by Nike Inc., which accused him of breach of contract. His endorsement deal with Nike went through Dec. 31, 2015, but gave the company the right to match any other offers. Nike felt it matched an offer presented by New Balance Athletics Inc., which Berian preferred.

A judge was scheduled to issue a ruling on the eve of the Olympic Trials before Nike announced Thursday that it was dropping its suit.

“Nike legitimately exercised its right to match the New Balance offer and believe we would prove this at trial. It is important that agreements endorsers, endorsees and agents sign together are appropriately upheld,” Nike said in a statement. “As a running company, we also recognize that this is a significant time for Boris and in light of the judge’s decision to delay the ruling until June 28th, the eve of the Olympic Trials, we decided to eliminate this distraction for Boris.

“Therefore, in the interests of the athlete we have dismissed our case. We wish Boris the best of luck and success in the future.”

Berian may now negotiate with any footwear company.

On his Twitter account, he posted: “I’ve had so much support from my family friends and all of my fans the past couple months and I can’t thank you enough!”

MORE: Two Olympic silver medalists out of U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials