The United States won 32 track and field medals during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and while some of those winners are seeking to return to the Games, many newcomers are generating excitement and high expectations. Two of the world’s most dominant track athletes represent the United States in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, and the trials will be their latest chance to go head to head, pushing each other and the limits of the event.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When are the track and field Olympic trials?
  • Where are the track and field trials?
  • How can I watch the track and field trials?
  • How is the team selected?
  • Who are the athletes to watch?
  • Will there be fans?

When are the track and field Olympic trials?

The U.S. Olympic trials will take place from June 18 to 27, with rest days June 22 and 23.

Where are the track and field trials?

Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on the campus of the University of Oregon.

How can I watch the track and field trials?

NBC Sports Network and NBC will air live coverage every day of the event. NBC’s television coverage will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. A complete TV schedule follows (all times Eastern).

June 18

7-10 p.m.: NBCSN

10-11 p.m.: NBC

June 19

8-10 p.m.: NBCSN

10-11 p.m.: NBC

June 20

9-11 p.m.: NBC

June 21

7-8 p.m.: NBCSN

8-9 p.m.: NBC

June 24

9 p.m.-midnight: NBCSN

June 25

5-8 p.m.: NBCSN

June 26

9-11 p.m.: NBC

June 27

7-8:30 p.m.: NBC

What is the schedule of events?

(All times Eastern)

June 18

3 p.m.: Men’s shot put, qualifying

3:05 p.m.: Men’s hammer throw, qualifying

7 p.m.: Women’s discus, qualifying

7:03 p.m.: Women’s 1,500m, first round

7:30 p.m.: Women’s 400m, first round

7:45 p.m.: Women’s high jump, qualifying

7:58 p.m.: Men’s 400m, first round

8:26 p.m.: Men’s 800m, first round

8:54 p.m.: Women’s 5,000m, first round

9:15 p.m.: Women’s triple jump, qualifying

9:30 p.m.: Men’s shot put, final

9:37 p.m.: Women’s 100m, first round

10:25 p.m.: Men’s 10,000m, final

June 19

4 p.m.: Men’s decathlon events, start

5:15 p.m.: Men’s javelin, qualifying

7:30 p.m.: Men’s pole vault, qualifying

8:04 p.m.: Women’s 100m hurdles, first round

8:15 p.m.: Men’s triple jump, qualifying

8:34 p.m.: Men’s 100m, first round

9:03 p.m.: Women’s 100m, semifinals

9:40 p.m.: Women’s 1,500m, semifinals

9:42 p.m.: Women’s discus, final

10:04 p.m.: Men’s 800m, semifinals

10:20 p.m.: Women’s 400m, semifinals

10:35 p.m.: Men’s 400m, semifinals

10:51 p.m.: Women’s 100m, final

June 20

3:15 p.m.: Men’s decathlon events

7:25 p.m.: Men’s hammer throw, final

8:50 p.m.: Women’s high jump, final

8:55 p.m.: Women’s triple jump, final

9:03 p.m.: Women’s 100m hurdles, semifinals

9:19 p.m.: Men’s 100m, semifinals

9:35 p.m.: Women’s 3000m steeplechase, first round

10:06 p.m.: Women’s 400m, final

10:15 p.m.: Men’s 400m, final

10:23 p.m.: Men’s decathlon events, finish

10:43 p.m.: Women’s 100m hurdles, final

10:52 p.m.: Men’s 100m, final

June 21

6:30 p.m.: Men’s pole vault, final

7:15 p.m.: Men’s javelin, final

7:29 p.m.: Men’s 3,000m steeplechase, first round

7:40 p.m.: Men’s triple jump, final

8:05 p.m.: Women’s 1,500m, final

8:28 p.m.: Men’s 800m, final

8:40 p.m.: Women’s 5,000m, final

June 22

Rest day

June 23

Rest day

June 24

4:25 p.m.: Women’s hammer throw, qualifying

4:30 p.m.: Women’s shot put, qualifying

8 p.m.: Women’s pole vault, qualifying

8:45 p.m.: Women’s long jump, qualifying

9:04 p.m.: Men’s 1,500m, first round

9:31 p.m.: Women’s 200m, first round

10 p.m.: Women’s 800m, first round

10:05 p.m.: Men’s discus, qualifying

10:32 p.m.: Men’s 400m hurdles, first round

11 p.m.: Women’s shot put, final

11:04 p.m.: Men’s 5,000m, first round

11:47 p.m.: Women’s 3,000m steeplechase, final

June 25

4 p.m.: Women’s javelin, qualifying

4:30 p.m.: Men’s long jump, qualifying

5:04 p.m.: Men’s 200, first round

5:33 p.m.: Men’s 110m hurdles, first round

6 p.m.: Men’s high jump, qualifying

6:02 p.m.: Women’s 800m, semifinals

6:19 p.m.: Men’s 400m hurdles, semifinals

6:30 p.m.: Men’s discus, final

6:35 p.m.: Women’s 400m hurdles, first round

7:05 p.m.: Men’s 1,500m, semifinals

7:25 p.m.: Women’s 200m, semifinals

7:42 p.m.: Men’s 3,000m steeplechase, final

Update: On Wednesday night, USATF changed the start time of several events on June 26 and 27 owing to forecasts of extreme heat. Those changes are reflected below.

June 26

10 a.m.: Men’s 20km race walk, final

10:01 a.m.: Women’s 20km race walk, final

1 p.m.: Women’s 10,000m, final

4:15 p.m.: Women’s heptathlon events

7:05 p.m.: Women’s hammer throw, final

8:30 p.m.: Women’s javelin, final

8:40 p.m.: Women’s pole vault, final

9:03 p.m.: Men’s 110m hurdles, semifinals

9:19 p.m.: Women’s 400m hurdles, semifinals

9:30 p.m.: Women’s long jump, final

9:35 p.m.: Men’s 400m hurdles, final

10:24 p.m.: Women’s 200m, final

10:33 p.m.: Men’s 200m, semifinals

10:51 p.m.: Men’s 110m hurdles, final

June 27

1 p.m.: Men’s 5,000m, final

4 p.m.: Women’s heptathlon events

4:15 p.m.: Men’s high jump, final

6:45 p.m.: Men’s long jump, final

7:04 p.m.: Women’s heptathlon events end

7:18 p.m.: Women’s 400m hurdles, final

7:30 p.m.: Women’s 800m, final

7:40 p.m.: Men’s 1,500m, final

7:52 p.m.: Men’s 200m, final

How is the team selected?

The top three finishers in each event make the team as long as they have met their event’s qualifying standard, as set by World Athletics, by July 1. In the unlikely event a top-three finisher cannot meet the standard, his or her spot will be given to the highest-placing finisher who has.

For the relay events (the 4x100 and 4x400), coaches select a pool of six athletes, then four entrants must be chosen from that pool at the Games.

Who are the athletes to watch?

Allyson Felix: She already has a strong claim to be called America’s greatest track and field athlete, and Felix could make it hard for anybody to argue otherwise if she collects more medals in Tokyo. The trials have been a coronation for Felix, who has six golds and three silvers over four Olympics, but simply making her fifth and final Games would be an accomplishment for the 35-year-old. When Felix gave birth to daughter Camryn in November 2018, health complications threatened her and the baby. She since has become an advocate for several causes related to maternity. She said she’s feeling better than she has in years at a recent meet. She could compete in the 200 and 400 and still could be a factor in the relays in Tokyo.

Noah Lyles: Lyles, the world’s top-rated sprinter and reigning world champion in the 200 meters and 4x100 relay, is vying to replace Usain Bolt as the global face of the sport. He wants to win three gold medals in Tokyo, but he first must qualify for the U.S. 100-meter team, which is no sure thing in a field that includes Trayvon Bromell, Justin Gatlin and Marvin Bracy, among many others who have broken 10 seconds this year — something Lyles hasn’t done as he ramped up. He has increased his training to handle the potential 100-200 double. Lyles has dominated the world in the 200 for three years, but Kenny Bednarek could challenge him in Eugene.

Sha’Carri Richardson: Richardson exploded into sprinting’s elite ranks when she won the NCAA championships in the 100 and 200 in 2019, then turned pro six days later. Despite a disappointing appearance at the 2019 USATF outdoor championships, Richardson has established herself as one of the most compelling figures in the sport. At the USATF Golden Games in April, competing with bright-blue hair and her trademark long fingernails, she ran the 100 in 10.72 seconds, making her the sixth-fastest woman in the event’s history. She can cement her status as the future of U.S. sprinting with strong performances in Eugene and Tokyo. Her talent and lack of experience give her a wide range of outcomes.

Dalilah Muhammad: Muhammad broke a world record that had stood for nearly 13 years in the 400-meter hurdles at the last major national championships in 2019 — and then she broke it again two months later at the world championships. It currently stands at 52.16 seconds. Muhammad is unlikely to challenge that time in Eugene, as she’s coming off an injury. But given how dominant American women are in the event, it could be threatened in Tokyo by more than one hurdler, including …

Sydney McLaughlin: When Muhammad set the world record in Doha in 2019, McLaughlin finished second with a time that would have broken the old one. She debuted at the Olympics in Rio eight days after her 17th birthday and has delivered on her immense promise since. She already broke 53 seconds this year, suggesting a potentially dominant performance at trials. She switched coaches to Bob Kersee, allowing her to train alongside Felix.

Ryan Crouser: The world’s second-ranked thrower, Crouser is a heavy favorite in the shot put. He won gold in Rio and set an Olympic record, a mark he surpassed in late May when he threw 23.01 meters, fourth-best ever and just 11 centimeters short of a world record set 31 years ago. Men’s shot put is one of the competitive events — it’s possible the fourth-place finisher would have been good enough to contend for an Olympic medal.

Will Claye: Claye might be regarded as one of America’s track and field champions if not for one rival, and now that rival is unable to compete. Claye claimed silver in the triple jump at the past two Olympics and the past two world championships, losing in all four events to Christian Taylor. This spring, Taylor suffered an Achilles’ tendon rupture that will sideline him for Tokyo. Claye is returning from an Achilles’ tear suffered while playing pickup basketball in November 2019, an injury he shared only with his closest confidants until recently. A hip-hop artist when not competing, Claye is perhaps best known for proposing to fellow Olympian Queen Harrison trackside after winning silver in Rio. That will be tough to top, but with Taylor out, Claye has a chance at the biggest on-the-field prize to cap a great career.

Vashti Cunningham: The daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall, who also coaches her, Cunningham has established herself as the premier high jumper in the United States, taking the mantle from her idol, Chaunté Lowe. Cunningham made it to Rio in 2016 at 18, but that trip was more about gaining experience than competing at the highest level. Now ranked fourth in the world and carrying a bronze from the 2019 world championships, Cunningham can entrench herself as one of the world’s elite with a medal in Tokyo.

Athing Mu: Mu, 19, already has had a historic year, having smashed the NCAA records in the 400 and 800 as a Texas A&M freshman during the season. She then broke the 400 record again at the NCAA outdoor championships last weekend, where she also helped the Aggies to a 4X400 collegiate record. She has done nothing but excel ahead of schedule in her nascent career, so it would not surprise if she grabs a spot in the 800 meters, even in a deep field headlined by American record holder Ajeé Wilson. Her biggest opponent may be fatigue coming off the college season.

Justin Gatlin: He’s still here after an incredible and controversy-laden career. At 39, Gatlin is ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100 meters (even though Bromell has asserted himself as the favorite) and vying to make his fourth Olympics despite missing Beijing in 2008 because of a doping ban. He won the silver in 2016, finishing runner-up to Usain Bolt after the Rio crowd booed him on the starting line. In a year that has seen Tom Brady win Super Bowl MVP honors and Phil Mickelson win a major, Gatlin is trying to continue the triumph of ancient-for-sports athletes.

Randolph Ross: In a 400-meter field that includes Michael Norman, one of the most dominant sprinters in the world, Ross will not be favored. But the North Carolina A&T star served notice at the NCAA championships that he might be a good bet to make the team, especially with Fred Kerley scratching to run the 100 and 200 instead. Ross, the son of former Olympian and A&T coach Duane Ross, ran the fastest time in the world this year at 43.85 seconds, making him the ninth-fastest American ever. He also ran a blazing 4X400 leg to lead the Aggies to a national title. The only men who ran faster than him as collegians are Norman and Kerley.

Will there be fans?

Yes. As recently as early May, even family members of U.S. athletes were uncertain if they would be able to attend. But Oregon has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions, opening the door for TrackTown USA, the event organizer, to allow fans. It’s not clear how many spectators will be allowed at 12,700-seat Hayward Field, but it’s likely to be more than half-filled, with vaccinated and unvaccinated sections.

“Oregon health regulations regarding stadium capacity have shifted significantly in the last two weeks,” TrackTown CEO USA Michael Reilly said in a statement May 29. “We are absolutely thrilled as these changes allow for previously impossible spectator numbers. Alongside our partners, we have developed a plan to maximize attendance while keeping participants and our community safe. We appreciate the hard work of public health officials and government leaders who have made today’s announcement possible.”