U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials 2024

From Athing Mu To KC Lightfoot, Three Big Surprises From The U.S. Trials

From Athing Mu To KC Lightfoot, Three Big Surprises From The U.S. Trials

Athing Mu and KC Lightfoot were one of the many American stars that didn't make it out of the 2024 US Olympic Trials, prematurely ending their Olympic bid.

Jul 3, 2024 by Maxx Bradley
From Athing Mu To KC Lightfoot, Three Big Surprises From The U.S. Trials

The U.S. Olympic Trials were anything but ordinary, as we witnessed a bounty of surprises and shakeups not quite expected from our annual national championships. 

To wit, a handful of world-class athletes will be staying home next month instead of competing in Paris.

Here are three of the biggest surprises from the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials. 

Athing Mu Will Not Defend Title In Paris

Arguably the most shocking result of the U.S. Trials, reigning Olympic gold medalist Athing Mu will be absent from Team USA after falling in the final.

In her short yet decorated career, Mu has proven herself as one of the great American half-milers. She won gold in Tokyo in 2021 and did so again at the World Championships in Eugene a year later. 

Before the Trials, Mu had not raced since breaking the American record at the Pre Classic in September, opting to nurse a hamstring injury. Mu did what it took to make it through the first two rounds relatively unscathed, but a very competitive and crowded final saw her fall just 200m into the race. She could not make up the difference. 

Mu and her team appealed the result, but it was eventually denied, and it may solidify her absence from what would have been her second Olympic team.

It's also worth noting that both Raevyn Rogers (2021 bronze medalist) and Ajee Wilson, the other two women from the trio that competed in Tokyo, also finished outside of the top three, ending their Olympic bids.

American Record-Holder KC Lightfoot Will Have To Wait Until 2028

After opening up the first round with a pair back-to-back clearances at 17-8.5 and 18-0.5, the fourth-place finisher from Tokyo failed to clear 18-4.5, which shockingly ended his 2024 Olympic journey in the first round.

Lightfoot had competed nine times this season and cleared as high as 19-5. Unfortunately, the task of making it out of the U.S. Championships has proven difficult ever since his runner-up finish in 2021.

The good news is that Lightfoot is only 24-years-old and will be back. His season isn't over, either. 

Brooke Andersen, Janeé Kassanavoid Left Off Women's Hammer Team 

In one of the most technical events in track and field, it's understandable that there will be a few scratches here and there, especially with the stakes being as high as they come. 

But not one person expected both Brooke Andersen and Janeé Kassanavoid to be left off of Team USA. 

Both women came into the Trials ranked No. 3 and No. 2 in the world and made it look easy in the first round, each just needing a single throw to comfortably punch their ticket to the final. 

Andersen fouled on her first three attempts, keeping her out of the second slate of throws, while Kassanavoid fouled on three of her six throws, finishing in sixth, over five meters shy of her season best.

The pair will surely be on a mission between now and the World Championships in Tokyo next year, but they'll have to wait until the Olympics come stateside in 2028 for a shot at redemption.   

When Are The Paris 2024 Olympic Games?

The Olympics begin on July 26 and end on August 11. The track and field events will begin on Aug. 1. 

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