Olympic Trial stunner: Grand Rapids’ Donavan Brazier misses cut

The reigning 800-meter world champion Donavan Brazier was the gold medal favorite for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

It turns out that the native Grand Rapids won’t make the trip to Japan after all. Brazier failed Monday night’s Olympics in Eugene, Ore.

The 24-year-old Kenowa Hills finished last in the eight-runner field in 1 minute, 47.88 seconds.

“There are things that champions overcome and I couldn’t overcome them,” said Brazier. “So I’m obviously not of the championship caliber I needed to be at.”

Brazier, the American record holder, was more than four seconds behind the pace of winner Clayton Murphy, who won the bronze medal in 2016. Isaiah Jewett and Bryce Hoppel, who finished second and third respectively, will become Murphy in Tokyo.

It was Brazier’s second attempt to qualify for the Olympics. In the 2016 exams, he finished 19th.

With the exception of one DNF a year ago, the race on Monday was the first time since 2017 that Brazier ended up outside the top 3 in an outdoor 800 run since 2017.

“It was a (power) race. I had my head bowed a bit, but I’ll still feel like this man when I go to track meetings, “Brazier said. “I’ll still feel like I’m the 800 meter champion and the best 800 meter runner in the world when I go to the meetings, but obviously I wasn’t today.”

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