Michael Norman, the Southern California-raised sprinter who last summer won the world’s 400-meter championship, will no longer compete at the Los Angeles Grand Prix.
After running the 200 meters May 5 in Doha in a slower than expected 20.65 seconds, Norman felt discomfort behind a knee, said Emanuel Hudson, the director and co-founder of Norman’s agency, HSI. It led Norman’s team to opt for a cautious approach — Norman withdrew from a race this week in Japan for the same reason — ahead of a long season that includes the U.S. championships in July and could include the world championships in late August.
Norman starred at Vista Murrieta High School and set collegiate records at USC before turning professional, and not being able to run in Los Angeles has left Norman disappointed, Hudson said.
“He would be running if he could in a fit way and we just don’t think he can do that right now,” Hudson said.
Norman is scheduled to race at the June 12 New York Grand Prix, and Hudson said Norman is expected to be able to race there.
It’s the latest marquee departure this week from the inaugural Los Angeles Grand Prix at UCLA’s Drake Stadium, which begins with a May 26 distance carnival and an NBC-broadcast meet the following day. On Tuesday, world champion and 400-meter hurdles world record-holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone withdrew, citing the decision of her coach, Bobby Kersee, who is also serving as a co-meet promoter.
Athing Mu, the 800-meter world champion also coached by Kersee, will not compete. Kersee told the Orange County Register on Thursday that McLaughlin-Levrone’s withdrawal was related to a hamstring tweak, and that Mu was recovering from a bout with COVID.