2024 USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Stuns, Plus More From USATF's LA Grand Prix

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Stuns, Plus More From USATF's LA Grand Prix

The stars were out on Day 2 at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix, and it was Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, Rai Benjamin and Bryce Hoppel who took center stage.

May 19, 2024 by Cory Mull
Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Stuns, Plus More From USATF's LA Grand Prix

Saturday may have been another reminder that when Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone wants to run, we all need to just sit back and enjoy the ride. 

The 400 meter hurdle world record-holder and two-time Olympic champion opted for the 200m on Saturday at the USATF Los Angeles Grand Prix at UCLA's Drake Stadium, but that change in distance did not diminish the show in store. 

McLaughlin-Levrone, working toward her efforts in the 400mH after publicly announcing her intentions for the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, moved past the field on the curve and took it home in 22.03 seconds, taking down second-place Abby Steiner (22.32), third-place Brittany Brown (22.35) and Gabby Thomas (22.68), the reigning World Championship silver medalist, who struggled and finished in sixth. 

Thomas later went to X -- formerly known as Twitter -- to explain that she was less than 100-percent but wanted to race anyway, out of regard for the fan experience. 

McLaughlin-Levrone, 24, lowered her career best at the distance by 0.32 seconds just 14 days after a performance of 22.89 at the Occidental Invitational, a meet where she also doubled in the 100mH. 

Hoppel Makes A Statement In the 800m

In a race where six men broke 1:45 and five went under the Olympic standard, American Bryce Hoppel made a huge leap, closing the final 400 meters in 52.09 to secure his third-performance under 1:44 of his career and take the win in 1:43.68. 

Hoppel, 26, is a consistent performer on U.S. soil and on the world stage and his win on Saturday was significant in that he held off Isaiah Jewett (1:44.02) and 2022 1,500m World champion Jake Wightman (1:44.10), who was working back to his usual self following injury in 2023.

That performance was Hoppel's second-best of his career, only shadowing his best of 1:43.23, which he ran in Monaco in 2020.

Elsewhere was Jewett, who had to walk away extremely happy with his performance. Not only was he just three-hundredths of a second away from breaking 1:44, but he dropped below 1:45 for the first time, too. 

Brandon Miller and Isaiah Harris were also below the Olympic standard, clocking times of 1:44.24 and 1:44.58.

The 1,500m Left Us Asking Some Questions

Australian Oliver Hoare impressed over the final meters here, pulling away for the win against Kenya's Reynold Kipkorir Cheruiyot (3:34.83) and Matthew Centrowitz (3:35.16). 

While it was only in November when Hoare said he could barely walk due to a sports hernia, he's been on a successful streak over the last month-plus, with successful stints at the Australian Championships and the Penn Relays. 

His 3:34.73 was a season-best and another sign that he is on the right track, with hopes of chasing after his PR of 3:29.41 from last year. 

The better question may have been for the 34-year-old Centrowitz, who ran his fastest time since 2021with his performance of 3:35.16. The 2016 Olympic champion was not really in the mix last year, coming up in 10th in the U.S. Outdoor final last year. That year he managed a best of 3:36.91 at this very meet. 

But his performance on Saturday puts him at No. 7 on the year for U.S. athletes and he just might still be in the hunt as the U.S. Olympic Trials approaches. 

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Australian 1,500m ace Cameron Myers was eighth here with a time of 3:35.59. U.S. athlete Henry Wynne was fourth in 3:35.24.


Rai Benjamin Takes The World Lead Back In The 400mH

The world lead lasted for all of eight days. 

Rai Benjamin took it back from Alison Dos Santos at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on Saturday with his performance of 46.64 seconds, an effort that ranks fourth best over his career. 

That's good news for Benjamin, 26, who is the reigning Olympic runner-up from 2021. 

When Are The Olympics 2024 In Paris?

The 2024 Olympic Games will take place in Paris, France, from July 26 to August 11. 

The track & field portion of the competition will start on August 1 and finish on August 11. 

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