Donavan Brazier Breaks 34-Year-Old American Record in the 800

He became the first U.S. runner to win world championship gold in the event.

Running away from the field with 250-meters to go, Donavan Brazier secured the first 800-meter world championship gold medal for the United States. In the process, Brazier broke the American record and the championship record with a winning time of 1:42.34.

“I just feel on top of the world, this year has been a huge domino effect, everything has been going in my favor from indoors all the way out,” Brazier told Runner’s World. “I just kept things going, and to see it coming together in time for the world championships means a lot to me.

“I don’t know what means more, the meet record or the American record. Taking down Johnny Gray’s American record just means a little bit more.”

Behind Brazier, Amel Tuka of Bosnia sprinted to silver in a season’s best of 1:43.47 and Ferguson Rotich of Kenya earned bronze in a time of 1:43.82. Bryce Hoppel of the United States attempted to secure the final podium spot with a last-minute kick but finished fourth in a personal best of 1:44.25.

Brazier ran a perfectly timed race, which started with Wesley Vasquez of Puerto Rico assuming the lead on the first turn. While Vasquez brought the field through the first 400 meters in 48.96 seconds, Brazier remained on his heels as the two competitors ran a few steps ahead of the competition.

With 250 meters remaining in the race, Brazier passed Vasquez and continued to gain momentum through the 200-meter mark. The gap between Brazier and the rest of the field continued to grow as the Nike Oregon Project runner (coached by Pete Julian) held his position up front all the way into the finish line.

“I knew with about 100 [meters] left if I could finish strong and keep my composure that something special would come my way and to see the time, to break 1:43 and get a meet record means the world to me,” Brazier said.

This content is imported from Twitter. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Brazier’s performance broke the previous American record of 1:42.60 set by Johnny Gray in 1985. On August 29, Brazier out-kicked world leader Nijel Amos for the win in the Zurich Diamond League final. While Amos ran out of gas after setting an aggressive early pace, Brazier, 22, accelerated down the homestretch and crossed the line in 1:42.70. He was 0.1 seconds shy of Gray’s 34-year-old American record.

But on Tuesday in Doha, Brazier ran hard throughout the entire race to eclipse the mark.

“I’ve given myself easy outs, but to finally give it my all, not any excuses and put my best foot forward has really paid off for me,” Brazier said.

Additional reporting by Cathal Dennehy.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From News