Trayvon Bromell during the Wanda Diamond League on July 13, 2021 in Gateshead, England.
At Tuesday’s Diamond League event in London, a pair of returning Team USA Olympians showed they’re on track to be serious Olympic medal contenders in Tokyo.
Sprinter Trayvon Bromell took first place in the men’s 100-meter while Sandi Morris topped the women’s field in pole vault. Both impressed as Bromell recorded the only sub-10 second time in the field at 9.98 and Morris won by .05 meters with a 4.76.
Bromell wasn’t quite up to his winning time at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials of 9.80 seconds, nor his personal best set earlier in June of 9.77, but was happy with the win.
“I’ll take that win and I really want to get back into training, get my body under wraps, recover and get ready for Tokyo,” he said afterward. “I want to be healthy and I’m blessed for that.”
Morris improved on the 4.60 she hit at trials, and she too was left feeling optimistic by her performance in London.
“It's amazing how you can have five bad meets and one good meet and your world flips back to normal,” she said.
Bromell, 26, is back at the Games as a medal contender now fully healthy after dealing with injuries in the years since Rio. Bromell was one of the best young sprinters in the country heading into the 2016 Games as an NCAA champion at Baylor, winner of a bronze medal in the 100 at the 2015 world championships and a gold medal in the 60-meter at the 2016 world indoor championships. A heel injury limited him to eighth in the 100 in his Olympic debut, then he tore his Achilles in the 4x100 racing against Usain Bolt and needed two surgeries.
Morris is the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the pole vault, and has also won silver medals at the last two world championships. A former NCAA indoor national champion, Morris was runner-up at 2016 indoor worlds and the champion in 2018. The 29-year-old jumped 4.84 meters earlier this year and ranks No. 3 in the world. She has a personal best of 5.00, also a national record, set in 2016.
Bromell and Morris weren’t the only Tokyo-bound athletes competing Tuesday, as Fred Kerley ran fifth behind Bromell in the 100 in 10.13. In the men’s 800, Bryce Hoppel and Clayton Murphy ran fifth and sixth, respectively.