Berian upset, Montano and Martinez tumble at U.S. trials
By Gene Cherry
EUGENE, Oregon (Reuters) - World indoor champion Boris Berian was upset in the men's 800 meters, while Alysia Montano and Brenda Martinez had their Rio hopes dashed when they became entangled in the women's race at the American Olympic trials on Monday.
Collegiate champion Clayton Murphy surged past Berian to punch his Rio ticket in 1:44.76, 16 hundredths of a second faster than Berian who still made the team for Brazil along with Charles Jock.
The biggest drama came in the women's race over two laps, however, with little-known Kate Grace winning in 1:59.10 after Montano and Martinez came together before tumbling to the track on the final bend.
Without naming names, Martinez insisted she was clipped by a runner and Montano denied she was the guilty party.
"I don't know what happened to Brenda," the tearful Montano said. "She ended up tripping and I found myself jumping around her and someone kicked me out from behind. What can I do in that situation? I didn't touch anyone."
Martinez said she had been unable to regain her composure after the incident.
"I just tried catching my fall but by then they were already making another gear, another move," said the 2013 world bronze medalist, who finished seventh in 2:06.63.
A distraught Montano, who believes doping Russian athletes cheated her out of a medal at the 2012 Olympics, lay on the track before getting up, jogging a bit, then falling to her knees before eventually reaching the line in 3:06.77. Continued...