ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Aggie alum Donavan Brazier came within a tenth of a second of the 800-meter American record in winning the Diamond League final on Thursday with a career best time of 1 minute, 42.70 seconds.
In becoming the first American male to win the Diamond League final at 800m, Brazier improved his previous best of 1:43.55 set as a Texas A&M freshman to win the 2016 NCAA Championships, breaking a 50-year-old collegiate record in the process.
Johnny Gray’s U.S. record of 1:42.60 set in 1985 came under threat with a sterling finish by Brazier, who moved from sixth place to first over the final 200m. Brazier’s time makes him the No. 2 performer with the No. 3 performance on the American all-time list.
“I´m quite amazed about my result, I just did my job and gave everything I had to win the race,” said Brazier. “I’ll just get back to training, work hard and deal with every race like always. Now I’m focusing on the World Championships in Doha.”
Nijel Amos, of Botswana, led the field during the second lap of the race, splitting 1:14.43 at 600m, after rabbit Harun Abda split 48.23 at 400m. Brazier was in eighth place at 400m with a split of 50.8, then moved into sixth place at 600m with a split of 1:17. Brazier passed multiple runners on the final turn. Closing strong with a 12.7 over the final 100m he caught Amos 10m ahead of the finish line.
Brazier’s winning time ranks third in the world for this season. Amos, the world leader in 2019 with a 1:41.89, placed second in 1:42.98. In third place Canadian Brandon McBride, who competed at Mississippi State, clocked a career best of 1:43.51.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Aggie alum Shamier Little placed second in 53.86 seconds while Sydney McLaughlin won in 52.85. Dalilah Muhammad, who set a world record of 52.20 to win the USATF title in July, placed third at 54.13.
Aggie junior Deborah Acquah earned a silver medal in the long jump at the African Games held in Rabata, Morocco, on Thursday with a leap of 20-10 ¾ (6.37).