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Track World Reacts To Shocking Upset In U.S. Trials

A general photo of the Olympic rings at the Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 01: A general view is seen of the Olympic rings in the Olympic Park on August 1, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Olympic hopefuls took to the track this week in Eugene, Oregon at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. But not everything went according to plan for the nation's top competitors.

In the men's 800 meter final on Monday night, American record holder Donavan Brazier faded down the final stretch and finished last, failing to qualify for Team USA. Clayton Murphy, Isaiah Jewett and Bryce Hoppel held onto the top three spots and punched their tickets to this summer's Tokyo Olympics.

Brazier, the 2019 World Champion in the event, entered the race as a heavy favorite, having been the top runner in the 800 for 89 consecutive weeks. However, after making his move too early on Monday, he labored in the final 200 meters, as the rest of the field surged past him.

The 24-year-old finished the race last, ending his hopes at qualifying for Team USA this summer. After the event, he admitted to having a bad race but maintained that he would be back at the top in the future.

“Yeah, I’ll just add something,” Brazier said, per Adam Killgore of The Washington Post. “It was [bad]. It was a [bad] race. I had my head down for a little bit, but you know, I’m still going to feel like I’m that man when I go into track meets. I’m still going to feel like I’m the 800-meter champ. I’m still going to feel like I’m the best 800-meter runner in the world when I go into meets. Today, just, I obviously wasn’t. There were seven guys in front of me that proved it. The guys that beat me, they can have their moment, and I’m happy for them. But I’ll come back from this. I’ve been down worse before.”

Track and field fans could barely believe what happened to Brazier on Monday night. Many took to Twitter to sympathize with the American record holder after he missed out on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

After postponing the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, many of the top United States track and field athletes have felt the effects of an elongated period between the games. The U.S. Olympic Trials are an unforgiving meet, leading to many unrealized dreams and this year's event seems to be even more grueling than usual.

Brazier hopes to be back in 2024 but for the time being will cheer on Team USA later this summer.