The remodeled Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, will see Team USA’s top track and field athletes off to Tokyo after all.
Following the one-year postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track and Field will return to the University of Oregon campus almost exactly one year after originally planned on June 18–27, 2021.
The new dates start and end one day prior to the 2020 dates, matching the change of the Tokyo Games, which will now be held July 23-Aug. 8, 2021.
Although the timing of events in Eugene is subject to change, the trials will maintain the original competition schedule as far as which events are contested each day. Those who purchased tickets to the 2020 event will have their seats automatically transfer to the 2021 event unless a refund is requested within the next 90 days via TrackTown20.com.
Track and field has a long history in Oregon, with next year’s event marking the seventh time the Olympic trials will be held at Hayward Field, and the fourth time in a row. However, the trials will be one of the first major events to take place at Hayward Field since the stadium’s massive renovation, which is set to wrap up this spring. The new stadium will increase its capacity to 12,650, with the possibility of expansion to 25,000.
The U.S. track and field Olympic trials are always hyper-competitive, with a maximum of just three athletes per individual event earning qualification.
Next year should be no exception, as the U.S. is coming off a record performance at the 2019 world championships. Americans won 14 events, tying the championships record, while their 29 total medals in Doha, Qatar, marked the second-best performance ever by a single country.
Among the biggest stars to watch is Dalilah Muhammad, the 400-meter hurdles world record holder, and 20-year-old Sydney McLaughlin, who finished 1-2 in the event in Doha. Meanwhile, sprinters Christian Coleman and Noah Lyles, the defending world champs in the 100- and 200-meter, respectfully, are expected to take center stage in the first Olympic Games since the retirement of Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt.
Christian Taylor is seeking a third consecutive Olympic title in the triple jump after claiming a fourth world title in Doha. Also in field events, DeAnna Price last year was the first American to win women’s hammer throw gold at world championships and could do the same on the Olympic stage.
The Tokyo Games will also feature the Olympic debut of the mixed 4x400-meter, which the U.S. won while setting a world record in the process in Doha. Among those on the winning team was Allyson Felix, who is aiming to make her fifth Games, and her first since becoming a mother. Felix’s nine Olympic track and field medals are tied for the most among women.
Hayward Field is also scheduled to host the next world championships. That event, originally planned for 2021, has been moved back to 2022 so as to not conflict with the Tokyo Games.