RunBlogRun opines: The US Olympic Trials are the most brutal and honest of assessments of how an athlete will do on the global stage. Ten magnifiscent days of track & field, and nights to talk track. Donovan Brazier came into the Trials as a pretty definite player in the 800 meters. He did not make it out of round one. Here is how Elliott Denman wrote about Donovan and his introduction to the US Olympic Trials.
Donovan Brazier, bad day in Eugene, photo by PhotoRun.net
By ELLIOTT DENMAN
EUGENE, OREGON – Win some, lose some.
That’s been the theme song of the USA Olympic Trials.
World record-holders, global glory candidates, and hot-shot prospects of all descriptions over years and years and years of the quadrennial action have checked into the Trials premises needing
only – they surmised – to be fitted into their USA attire before trekking off to even greater stuff at the “real” Games.
But the Trials has always been a big game unto itself.
Put up, or shut up.
Do it here, or come back and try again in another four years.
It’s as “real” as it gets here.
Do it right here and you’re a celebrity forever, eternally recognized with that title of all titles – “Olympian.”
But mess up here and you’re gone in a blink, given a hearty pat on the back for the achievement of just posting a qualifying mark – then sent packing with the reminder, “don’t worry, guys, all this happens again.
“Yup, in the next quadrennial.”
Whenever that is.
All this is by way of saying that Donavan Brazier isn’t going to run at the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games.
Unless some other nation hurtles in with a zillion-dollar deal to file for an instant “transfer of allegiance.”
Or the Nike people – his new sponsors – file a grievance action against Trials management, alleging Brazier’s 1:48.13 Friday was an invalid assessment of his true talents, and that this result – placing him a non-qualifying fourth place in the last of four prelim races, was in no way reflective of his obvious potential for high honors in Brazil a month and a half hence.
But it ain’t going to happen that way.
Donavan Brazier, just 19 years, two months and 15 days of age, is out of the Trials, out on his heels, still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.
The Texas A&M freshman, who’d run an eye-opening, ear-popping 1:43.55 winning the NCAA title right here at Hayward Field three weeks ago, was a full 4.58 seconds off that performance in the big-bigger-biggest shocker of the first full day of Trials action at Hayward Field.
Two big things happened after that 1:43.55.
He declared himself no longer a candidate for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland, telling the world he now had bigger fish to fry.
And then he told the Texas A&M people, “thanks so much for getting me this far, but sorry, gents, I’m no longer a student-athlete amateur, I’m a certified pro.”
Nike thought it was getting itself a bargain – a certain kid-Olympian destined to stun the world in Rio.
But Brazier only showed he was still a kid in bowing out of the Rio sweepstakes altogether.
He came in as Number Three on the 2016 year list – trailing only Nicholas Kiplangat Kiproech (1:43.37) and Jonathan Kiprotich Kitilit (1:43.48) of Kenya on the charts of the IAAF, Track and Field News, Athletics Weekly or any of the globe’s other numerologists.
But all that was gone in the Eugene wind.
Why? How? What in heck happened? (As Brazier trailed Clayton Murphy’s 1:47.61, Brandon Johnson’s 1:47.62 and Nike co-signee Harun Abda’s 1:47.88 in the race that went all so very wrong for him.)
“The last month or so’s been a lot of fun,” he said.
“But I just got tired and slowed down today.
“I tried doing it, but it just didn’t work out.
“That was my bad.”
Kid talk but all-so-true.
Good days surely await Brazier, who clearly, no-doubt-about-it-edly continues to have a bbbb-brrrrilliant future.
But not right now.
Put him on tape delay. Give him a 2017 calendar.
Find him a very good drawing board.