Sydney McLaughlin, Hurdler, was bleeding from the knee. Nnenya Hailey, who was lined up in three lanes to her left, was so hot that she looked at the stands and begged water.
This was before the race began.
Hexers were able to feel the heat just as intensely Friday, despite the fact that they had hair-trigger sensors at the start blocks. It was a 92-degree day at the U.S. Olympic track & field trials.
To get the heat of the men’s 110 meter running, it took five attempts. McLaughlin and Co. took four more attempts to reach the 400 qualifying zone.
McLaughlin said, “I’ve never experienced that many restarts in my life.” McLaughlin’s upcoming race with Dalilah Muhammad, world-record holder, could be one the most exciting races of the Olympic season. “My knee started to bleed a bit after I had been on the hot track so many times.”
McLaughlin won her heat. Hailey was second. This was despite the fact that temperatures reached triple digits this weekend. It was hard to imagine this day as a simple day of preliminaries for bigger races.
Hailey stated, “After the second start, you know when your spit is like white.” I couldn’t run like this. “I literally looked at the audience and said, “Who has a water bottle?”
She took a sip and passed it along the line.
Hailey also quit the track due to unexpected knee problems.
“It was already crusty when I arrived. She said that it was likely to be destroyed by the time she left.
The men had fought a similar battle just 20 minutes before.
They lined up four times. The starting gun was fired four times. The alarm went off four times. Each time the gun went off, it sounded again to signal an illegal start. The crowd hailed and whistled. Ato Bolden and the NBC commentators got wildly out of control, asking why the sensors weren’t disabled. Samuel Brixey was the only runner disqualified. However, he filed a protest and was moved to the next round.
Before Brixey knew the outcome of the appeal, Brixey said “Cut me some slack man.” “It was three for three, and they called us back and notified a few other guys, like, Hey, your feet have moved.’ Then there was me and they’re like, red card.
Friday’s Olympic selection was limited to six — three spots in steeplechase were given to Hillary Bor, Benard Kerter, and Mason Ferlic, while three spots in men’s discus went the Mason Finley, Reggie Jagers, and Sam Mattis.
The rest of today was all about qualifying. The rest of the day was about getting ready for what is expected to be an exciting weekend. Allyson Felix, Noah Lyles and others made it through without too much difficulty.
Felix could be in contention for an Olympic spot if she finishes in the top three on Saturday. However, she would have to decide between the 400 and that distance, which overlap on the Olympic schedule.
Lyles and Josephus, his younger brother, moved to the semifinals. Josephus trains in Florida with Lyles.
“That humidity there, that’s like a whole burden on top of me. Lyles stated that it was like running through paper.
The high Saturday forecast is 103, dry heat or not. It’s 111 on Sunday.
It would have been hotter than the day in Doha, Qatar two years ago at the world championships. To make it more bearable, organizers installed air conditioning at the outdoor stadium.
Eugene has not had such luck. USA Track and Field moved Saturday’s 20K run up to 7 a.m. and changed the weekend’s distance races (the women’s 10,000 and the men’s 5,000) to the morning to avoid the heat. The remaining 12 finals, as well as the grueling Heptathlon, will continue as planned — all in afternoon heat.
You can’t beat heat. Jarrion Lawson, a long jumper, said that heat is not something to run from. “Heat usually brings great performances. Prepare, hydrate, and compete. Try to get off the track as quickly as you can.”
It’s easier said than done.
“I don’t even understand. Jaylan McConico, a hurdler, won the heat after he lost count. He needed five attempts to reach the blocks. “After two, it felt like, ‘Allright, this is getting kinda old now.’