Athletics-Brazier builds on World Championship momentum with Millrose Games win

NEW YORK, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A blistering 800 meters for Donavan Brazier punctuated a handful of season’s bests, as six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix finished sixth in the 60-meters at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York City on Saturday.

The 1:44.22 win for the 22-year-old Brazier set a roaring start to the World Champion’s bid to make the U.S. Olympic roster, as Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser beat World Champion Joe Kovacs to a season’s best in the shot put and Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare won the men’s mile in another season’s best. Brazier lurked toward the back of the pack at the Armory for the first 400 meters before bursting by his competitors for dramatic finish.

“My coach kept telling me, ‘don’t go on the rabbit – put yourself in like fourth or fifth position, and just see where you can work from there,’” said Brazier. “I just tried to execute that as perfectly as possible.”

Felix, hoping to reach her fifth Games this year and compete in the 200 and 400 meters, struggled to get the power she needed in the 60-meter dash, not typically her strongest event.

The 34-year-old sprinter, who gave birth to daughter Camryn in November 2018, told reporters that she was looking forward to upcoming competitions.

“My daughter’s a huge motivation for me. It’s kind of shifted my motivation completely,” said Felix. “I want to show her that you can overcome adversity. I want to show her what hard work looks like.”

World indoor champion pole vaulter Sandi Morris sailed to a 4.91-meter win, later telling reporters that a world record-breaking performance from men’s vaulter Swede Mondo Duplantis of 6.17 meters at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Torun in Poland served as motivation.

Ajee Wilson won the women’s 800 meters, running a subdued middle-of-the-pack race before exploding past the competition in the last 200 meters and finishing more than a full second ahead of second-place finisher Natoya Goule.

American Elle Purrier, meanwhile, won the women’s mile and set the U.S. women’s indoor mile record, despite the fact that she did not even know what the record even was before she started the race. (Reporting By Amy Tennery, additional reporting by Gene Cherry; Editing by David Gregorio)