Rohan Browning’s Olympic semi-final

Rohan Browning’s Olympic semi-final

Rohan Browning misses final but shows he has the right stuff

Rohan Browning might not have made the Olympic 100m final but he registered a personal best at his debut Games, mixed it with the best in the world and showed he has a bright future at elite level.

That’s the feeling of his inner sanctum, including his coach, Trinity’s Director of Athletics Andrew Murphy, his family and most importantly Rohan himself.

After finishing fifth in his semi-final in Tokyo in 10.09 seconds, fractionally slower than the personal best of 10.01 he ran in winning his heat the previous night, the optimistic Trinity old boy was already looking ahead.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get it done in the semi but the next Olympics are only three years away,” said the second fastest Australian of all time.

His family, meanwhile, said that without Trinity he would never have made it to Tokyo in the first place.

“Had he not gone to the School, had he not met Murph and formed such a great partnership, there is no way he would have even gone to the Olympics,” said his mum Liz Jackson.

“None of us ever dreamed the Olympic Games would be on the radar but he really hit it off with Murph, things kept building and building and he kept getting better. Really, Rohan didn’t choose athletics; athletics chose him.”

She said she, her husband Andrew and their two other Trinitarian sons James (Class of ’20) and Hugh (Year 11) were “incredibly proud” of Rohan.

And she had nothing but praise for his coach.

“He always has something positive to say; there’s always a silver lining in every experience. He always takes the long view.”

True to form, Mr Murphy said after Sunday night’s semi-final: “I am super proud of Rohan. He’s had an incredible year and he has a massive future on this stage.

“He will now believe 100 per cent that he belongs with the best.”

Mr Murphy said Rohan was only 23 and sprinters usually didn’t peak until the 26-32 age bracket.

The plan of attack now would be for Rohan to get more experience in big meets such as the Commonwealth Games, the world championships and the European circuit, which he will tackle after a brief holiday in Italy.

Rohan was clearly disappointed with his start in the semi-final, saying: “I just never got out. I had my work cut out for me. I feel like I came back well at the end of the race but I had too much to do. It’s only 100 metres.”

As it turned out, he would have needed a further personal best to reach the final, where seven of the eight runners went under 10 seconds in their semis and the eighth ran 10 flat. Gold medallist Lamont Jacobs of Italy won the final in 9.80.

“I’ve been knocking on the door of sub-10, the big breakthrough,” Rohan said.

“It’s coming. Hopefully it comes later this year in Europe. I’m heading in the right direction.”

He said he had been buoyed by the encouragement flowing his way from Australia.

“I definitely felt the love. I have been overwhelmed with support and messages, so I thank everybody for that. It’s so wonderful to receive that.”

His mum said the Sydney University arts/law student had an “amazing capacity” to learn quickly.

“He has made great strides and I think Tokyo will prove to be a stop along the way of an amazing athletics career.

“In athletics, like many things, there are always more disappointments than successes, but that’s what makes the successes so sweet.

“These Olympics have been a fantastic lesson, and he will see it that way.”

After three months without seeing Rohan, she added: “I can’t wait to give him a hug and tell him how much we love him.”

Share this post