What you might not have seen at the US Olympic Track Trials : NPR


Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates her win in the women's 100m final during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

Sha'Carri Richardson celebrates her win in the women's 100m final during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

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EUGENE, Oregon — Olympians were born and world records were broken. The U.S. Olympic track and field team was selected after a 10-day meet at Hayward Field. It offered a preview of the skills to come at the Paris Games that begin in less than a month.

Here are some highlights from the Olympic Trials that concluded Sunday.

Stars to see in Paris

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone's biggest competition is himself. On Sunday, she broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles with a timing of 50.65 seconds, just short of the 50.68 seconds she had set on the same track two years ago.

There was surprise on his face after he crossed the finish line.

“I was a bit surprised that it didn't come with the best stride pattern,” she told reporters after her success. “But of course grateful to know that the fitness is there and we can do more.”

She will aim to raise her level once again at the Paris Games.

“I would love to go below 50 [seconds] He added, “At some point or another, it's really exciting to try to figure out ways to improve upon history, you know, in whatever capacity it may be.”

The 24-year-old began her journey at the Rio Olympics eight years ago and went on to win a gold medal in the 400m hurdles and another in the 4x400m event in Tokyo.

He said representing the United States as an Olympian never gets old.

“It's like living that childhood dream over and over again. I don't take it for granted.”

athlete Sha'Carri Richardson Hayward came in with a lot to prove. She was banned from competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC. She attributed her marijuana use to the recent death of her mother and the pressure it put on her to perform: “I'm human,” she said on social media at the time.

And she proved it. Her 100m in Eugene sealed her spot on Team USA. However, her attempt to make the 200m her second event failed, as she finished fourth.

it was Gabby Thomas, Brittany Brown And Mackenzie Long In the same order, here are the two athletes who dominated the 200m race to secure their place for the Paris Games.

Gabby Thomas celebrates after winning the women's 200m final with third-place winner Mackenzie Long during the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday, June 29, 2024, in Eugene, Oregon.

Gabby Thomas celebrates after winning the women's 200-meter final with third-place winner Mackenzie Long during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

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Thomas won a bronze medal in the 200m event in Tokyo and a silver with the 4x100m relay team. What's new for him this time around is that there will be a crowd there to cheer him on.

“I'm a bit of an introvert, so I get easily distracted and overwhelmed around a lot of people, but I think it will be fun,” she said after Saturday's final.

But she also says she has always performed well under pressure – a skill she has honed in Tokyo.

“It gives me comfort to know that when I walked across the line today I was thinking, 'I've proven to myself that I can do this,'” she said.

Meanwhile, Brown and Long are competing at the Olympics for the first time. Long is drawing strength from her late mother, who died unexpectedly in February.

“Knowing that I'm an Olympian now is pretty surreal,” he told reporters after the race. “And I know my mom is smiling from cheek to cheek.”

Noah Lyles, Kenny Bednarek And Fred Kerley All qualified for the U.S. in the 100m. Lyles is by far the frontrunner in both speed and personality; the 26-year-old has made headlines for sharing his love for anime by pulling out a growing suite of Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards from his suit after each round.

Lyles will have a double success in Paris: He also wins the 200-meter final at the trials. But he won't fully celebrate until he gets a gold medal.

“It's OK, it's great, I'm done, I'm excited about it, let's keep moving forward, keep moving forward,” he told reporters.

Noah Lyles celebrates after winning the men's 200m final during the US Track & Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday, June 29, 2024 in Eugene, Oregon.

Noah Lyles celebrates after winning the men's 200-meter final during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

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In the 110 hurdles, Grant Holloway, Daniel Roberts And Freddie Crittenden Made history. It was the first time three men crossed the finish line of the 110-meter hurdles in less than 13 seconds.

There's already talk of the trio taking on the Olympic podium.

“I mean, we've already proven that,” Holloway told reporters after posting the second-fastest time in Saturday's final. “For us, I think we're right where we need to be.”

Stylish Shot Put Expert Raven Saunders During his trial he wore a mask that he described as Day of the Dead.

“It's a way to show people that I'm back, that I never left,” Saunders said after coming in second.

A fan favourite in Tokyo, the Olympic silver medallist was suspended last year after failing a pair of drug tests.

Saunders used this forced break to focus on himself.

“I really took it as more time to work out, focus on this Olympic team, and focus on my mental health,” she said.

Chase JacksonThe shot-putter, known for wearing elaborate eye makeup on the court and sharing her love of anime with Lyles, finished first ahead of Saunders. This is the first time she has been on an Olympic team.

Chase Jackson competes in the women's shot put finals during the track trials.

Chase Jackson competes in the women's shot put final during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

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A big break

on Saturday night, Veini Kelati She sprinted down the track in the final stages of the women's 10,000-meter race, first taking the lead, then losing it, and then regaining the lead one last time to win.

Speaking to reporters after her win, Kelati said: “I had to be patient because I knew I had that speed, I had that kick because I was working on it.”

It's the latest chapter in the 27-year-old's remarkable journey. In 2014, Kelati was competing on this very track for her native Eritrea, a country in East Africa. During international competition, Kelati sought asylum to escape political turmoil in her country. A teenager at the time, she left behind family and friends and settled in the U.S. as a refugee. Ten years later, Kelati's win secured her spot on the U.S. team for the Summer Olympics.

Venny Kelati celebrates after winning the women's 10,000-meter final race during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials.

Venny Kelati celebrates after winning the women's 10,000-meter final during the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Team Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

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“It's crazy, I'll get over it soon,” she said. “Right now, I can't believe it. I'm speechless.”

Kelati says he is proud to compete for his adopted country, but his family in Eritrea will also be supporting him.

“They are watching me. Every time I run, they follow me, watch my race,” she said.

Heartbreak

Damage for falling once in the same race Something Mu She was excited about her Olympic bid. A quarter of the way into the 800-meter race, the defending gold medalist stumbled and fell, ending her chances of making the U.S. team. Nia Akins Won with a personal best time of 1:57.36.

Athing Mu won the women's 800m semifinal heat due to a collision between Kate Grace and Michaela Rose during the Olympic trials.

Athing Mu won the women's 800-meter semifinal as Kate Grace and Michaela Rose tied for second during the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday.

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“It’s tough to watch, especially for someone like Athing who you know can win a gold medal,” the 400m hurdler said. Rae Benjamin “You feel sorry for him because he should be there, you know? But that's just USA Track & Field. It's the toughest team and anything can happen,” he told NBC on Monday.

NPR's Brian Mann contributed to this story.




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