Donavan Brazier on his way to winning the 800m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix (© Getty Images)
Organisers of the Millrose Games have announced strong fields for the men’s 800m and 400m for the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting on 29 January.
The 800m is headlined by Kenya’s Michael Saruni, the 2019 Millrose Games 800m champion. His African indoor record of 1:43.98 in that race is the fastest indoor 800m clocking ever achieved in the US and made Saruni the second-fastest indoor performer at that time.
“It will be really great to come back to The Armory and the Millrose Games where I had such a great winning race,” said Saruni, who formerly held the world best for the indoor 600m.
Bryce Hoppel returns to the Millrose Games after placing second in the 800m in 2020. Hoppel finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships and ranks seventh on the world indoor all-time list for 800m with a best of 1:44.37. NCAA champion Isaiah Jewett, who joined Hoppel on the US Olympic team last year, is also set to compete.
Four other Olympians will take part in this race, including Charlie Hunter of Australia, Mexican record-holder Jesus Lopez of Mexico, Spanish record-holder Saul Ordonez and Irish record-holder Mark English. Isaiah Harris, who represented the USA at the 2017 World Championships, is also in the field.
Donavan Brazier, the world champion over 800m, has opted against contesting his specialist distance at the Millrose Games and will instead test his speed in the 400m. The 24-year-old, who holds the North American 800m records indoors (1:44.21) and outdoors (1:42.34), has an indoor 400m PB of 46.91.
“I’m really excited about running the 400m at Millrose,” said Brazier, whose 2021 season was hampered by injury. “I look forward to the challenge, and it is also part of our plan for continued improvement in the 800m.”
Brazier will face a stiff challenge in the form of Jamaica’s Olympic finalist Christopher Taylor, 2015 world 4x400m champion Vernon Norwood and triple Paralympic medallist Hunter Woodhall.
Other top athletes so far announced for the Millrose Games include Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser, world shot put champion Joe Kovacs, Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu, Olympic pole vault champion Katie Nageotte, world indoor pole vault champion Sandi Morris, world 100m hurdles record-holder Kendra Harrison, 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell, Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas, and Olympic 1500m bronze medallist Josh Kerr.