USA Track and Field Olympic Trials: 2021 Results for Tokyo originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Team USA’s track and field roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games is now set after the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials came to a conclusion after 1 a.m. ET Monday. The trials were originally scheduled to wrap up Sunday evening, but the final day’s action was suspended for five hours due to extreme heat in Eugene, Ore.
Over the 10-day event, rising stars like Sha’Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles secured their first Olympic berths, while familiar faces like Allyson Felix and Trayvon Bromell booked trips back to the Games.
From exciting finishes to upsets and more, here are the highlights from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials:
Sha’Carri Richardson wins 100m, set for Olympic debut
By now you may know of the name Sha’Carri Richardson. The energetic 21-year-old who has captured the attention of fans around the world secured her spot in the Tokyo Games by winning the women’s 100m final with a time of 10.86 seconds.
“It’s a dream since I’ve been young,” Richardson said on NBC. “Being happy is an understatement. All of those feelings in one.”
The moment was filled with emotion as Richardson ran to the stands immediately to embrace her family after the victory. Richardson will try to become the first American woman to win gold in the event since Gail Devers in 1996.
Allyson Felix qualifies in 400m
Allyson Felix is set for a fifth Olympic appearance after finishing second in the women’s 400m final with a season-best time of 50.02 seconds. A late push from Felix, who won silver in the same event in the 2016 Rio Games, helped her avoid falling out of the qualifying ranks, with only 0.08 seconds separating second place from fourth.
Quanera Hayes won the event in 49.78 seconds.
“It’s been a fight to get here, and one thing I know how to do is fight,” Felix said. “I just wanted to do that all the way home.”
Felix then had a chance to qualify in the 200m, the individual event she has a gold medal in, but finished fifth despite posting a season-best time of 22.11 seconds. Gabby Thomas claimed the 200m U.S. title in a world-best 21.61, which is also a trials record and the third-fastest time ever.
If Felix qualified for both events, she likely would have only been able to compete in one due to Olympic scheduling.
Felix has nine Olympic medals at 35 years old and needs one more to tie Carl Lewis as the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete of all time.
Sydney McLaughlin wins 400m hurdles, sets new world record
Sydney McLaughlin is heading to her second Olympic Games after setting the 400m hurdles world record, beating rival and reigning Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad with a 51.90 time. McLaughlin became the first woman to run under 52 seconds in the event, breaking Muhammad’s world record, and could be the favorite to take home gold in Tokyo.
Muhammad came in second with a 52.42 time, her best race of the season.
Brittney Reese heading to fourth Olympics
Two-time Olympic medalist Brittney Reese is heading back to the Games for a fourth time after finishing first in the long jump event at the trials. Her winning jump of 23 feet, 4.75 inches was a season best. Reese, a seven-time world champion, won gold in the 2012 Games and silver in the 2016 Games.
Vashti Cunningham clinches second Olympic berth
Vashti Cunningham cleared 6 feet, 5 inches in the high jump to win the event at the trials. Cunningham, the daughter of ex-NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, finished 13th in the 2016 Games and won bronze in the 2019 world championships.
Trayvon Bromell captures redemptive 100m win
Trayvon Bromell is on the road to redemption. After being hampered by injury in the 2016 Games where he finished eighth in the 100m event, Bromell has now posted the two fastest times in the world this year. He recorded a time of 9.77 seconds earlier in the month and followed that up with a U.S.-title-winning 9.80 at the trials.
“I feel with confidence sometimes comes complacency. And for me, I don’t like to get complacent,” Bromell said. “For me, I’m still going to go home and train as if I’m not being talked about at all.”
Justin Gatlin was seeking one final Olympic appearance at 39 years old, but his bid was derailed by injury. The 2004 gold medalist suffered a hamstring injury mid-race and finished the final in last.
World champion Noah Lyles posts world-best time in 200m
In the final event of the U.S. trials, reigning world champion Noah Lyles punched his ticket to the Olympics by winning the 200m race with a time of 19.74 seconds, the best in the world this year.
Kenny Bednarek came in second (19.78 seconds) and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton finished third (19.84). During the semifinals, Knighton beat Lyles and broke Usain Bolt’s under-20 world record (19.93 seconds) with 19.88 time. The high schooler is the fourth-youngest American man to make an Olympic track and field team.
Michael Norman claims Tokyo spot with 400m win
Michael Norman beat out Michael Cherry in an exciting finish to the 400m final. With a season-best time of 44.07 seconds, Norman locked down a spot on his first Olympic team.
Norman has a personal connection to this year’s Games, as the Tokyo Olympics are being held in the country where his mother, Nobue, was born.
Clayton Murphy secures thrilling upset victory in 800m
Many thought Donavan Brazier could become the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in the 800m since Dave Wottle in 1972. But the reigning world champion and American record-holder failed to even qualify for the Tokyo Games, finishing last in the final. Instead, it was 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy who rallied late to win the race with a time of 1:43.17.
Reigning champ Matthew Centrowitz makes third Olympics
Matthew Centrowitz will defend his 1500m Olympic title in Tokyo after posting a 3:35.34 time to meet the Olympic standard. Centrowitz came in second to NCAA champion Cole Hocker, who outkicked Centrowitz on the final turn to finish with a 3:35.28 time. Hocker will have to wait to see if he makes the Olympic team. The IAAF and Team USA will decide next week.
JuVaughn Harrison wins high jump, long jump
Not only did JuVaughn Harrison qualify in the high jump and long jump, but he won both events. First, Harrison claimed the U.S. high jump title Sunday afternoon by clearing 7 feet, 7.75 inches. He then secured his second title of the day by leaping 27 feet, 9.5 inches in the long jump. While making his Olympic debut, Harrison will be the first American man to compete in the high jump and long jump since Jim Thorpe in 1912.
Ryan Crouser to defend Olympic title after shattering world record
Ryan Crouser crushed a shot put world record that had been in place for longer than he’s been alive. With a throw of 76 feet, 8.25 inches, Crouser broke the 31-year-old world record by eight inches.
He will now go for his second straight Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.