The Olympic Track and Field Team Trials kick off on Friday in Eugene, Oregon, but the action starts a day earlier and 111 miles north when the hammer throw final takes place on Thursday at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. The decision to move the hammer away from the main event has stirred a bit of controversy. But a little controversy has been good as it pushed both the USATF and Nike to put out a last minute effort to publicize the event. A new hammer cage was recently installed at Ronaldo Field and bleachers will be coming soon. By all measures things are coming into shape just in time.
Whether or not you are in favor of the idea, there are some definite advantages to the format. The event will be broadcast live on regional television and a large turnout is also expected since the event is free and open to the public. Defending US champion Kibwe Johnson and US leader A.G. Kruger both seem to have already assured themselves a spot on the Olympic team, but still need strong performances to guarantee selection on Thursday. The women’s competition will be fierce, with recent US record holder Jessica Cosby leading the way. Behind her the qualifiers are tightly packed and will be fighting it out for the final two spots on the Olympic team.
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