GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan native Donavan Brazier, a favorite to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics, was the spotlight Monday night as he attempted to qualify for the games.
Brazier was in the finals for the men’s 800 meters during the trials in Eugene, Oregon. The top three finishers qualified for Team USA.
Brazier was not in the top three.
The Kenowa Hills and Texas A&M product is the reigning world champion in the 800, but he’s never competed in the Olympics before. It was a disappointment when, as an up-and-comer, he didn’t qualify to go to Rio in 2016. An injury also slowed him down in 2018, but he had a breakout year in 2019.
He faced a lot of pressure heading into the trials Monday, but Brazier embraced that.
“A part of me wants to say there’s less pressure because I did what a the epitome of track and field is, and that’s being the no. 1 runner in the world, and I’ve been ranked that for the past two years now. So yeah, I’ve had a target on my back,” Brazier previously told News 8. “…It’s a target I don’t mind having and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I maintain that target.”