Donavan Brazier Is Injured and May Not Run Worlds, But Will Run USAs This Weekend

“He wants to represent himself and represent his country to the very best he can and if he doesn’t feel he can do that, we will shut him down,” Julian said.

By Jonathan Gault
June 21, 2022

Reigning 800-meter world champion Donavan Brazier has been battling a case of bursitis in his right foot but plans on running this weekend’s USATF Outdoor Championships in Eugene, his coach Pete Julian told LetsRun.com.

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Brazier has raced only once outdoors in 2022, at the Doha Diamond League on May 13. Coming off of the indoor season, Brazier dealt with some discomfort in his Achilles, but still felt up to competing in Doha. But Brazier lacked his trademark explosiveness during the race and finished 6th in 1:50.58 on a windy night in the Qatari capital.

“I wasn’t there. I was watching here from the States, but I knew right away,” Julian said. “I could tell something was wrong in the first 100 yards. And he was in a lot of pain afterwards.”

After the race, Brazier was diagnosed with an inflamed bursa sac in his right foot (the opposite foot to the one he broke last year). Julian said that Brazier is still dealing with the issue and is not close to a full training load at the moment.

“It’s hard to treat because it’s near the Achilles so it just takes a lot of rest,” Julian said.

Brazier won the world title in Doha in 2019 (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

Brazier, as defending world champion, has a bye into next month’s World Championships in Eugene. But in order to be selected for Team USA, Brazier must run at least one round of the 800 at this weekend’s US championships. After consulting with his medical team, Brazier made the decision to compete in Thursday’s first round.

“We feel from a medical perspective that he’s in safe territory to at least run the first round,” Julian said.

Whether Brazier competes beyond Thursday — should he advance — is to be determined. But Julian says the situation is different from last year’s Olympic Trials, when they were on “pins and needles” hoping Brazier’s injured foot would hold up enough for him to make the team (ultimately, he fractured his tibia and finished last in the 800 final). Brazier does not need to finish in the top three this time; as long as he runs in Eugene this weekend, Brazier has a spot on World Championship.

“It’s more how does he come off of it and how irritated do things get,” Julian said.

The first round of the 800 at Worlds will be held July 20, just over a month from now and Julian is hoping that Brazier’s recovery can progress to the point where he can compete at Worlds. Historically, it has not taken Brazier long to work his way into shape. Brazier missed the 2018 outdoor season with an Achilles injury, yet after just three weeks of workouts in 2019 he ran 1:45.91 indoors and an American record of 1:44.41 two weeks after that. But Julian also said it is possible Brazier will not race at Worlds at all. It all depends on how the next month goes.

“He wants to represent himself and represent his country to the very best he can and if he doesn’t feel he can do that, we will shut him down,” Julian said.


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