Comm Games final for Rohan – Sixth place but oh so close to a medal

Comm Games final for Rohan – Sixth place but oh so close to a medal

Rohan Browning has made his mark on the world stage, reaching the Commonwealth Games final in Birmingham only to finish sixth, just six hundredths of a second outside a medal.

The 24-year-old Trinitarian finished a smart second in his semi-final behind defending champion Akani Simbini of South Africa, booking his place as the first Australian in the decider since 2010 and only the fourth in the past 30 years.

Running in lane eight, he got out of the blocks quickly and was well in the mix at the halfway point.

He crossed the line sixth behind gold medallist Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya, silver medallist Simbini and bronze medallist Yupun Abeykoon of Sri Lanka.

But there was very little separating him from Abeykoon in a blanket finish for third.

Attempting to become the first Australian medallist in the men’s event since the Commonwealth sprint distance changed to 100m in 1970, he got the closest since Matt Shirvington in 1998.

He clocked 10.20 seconds, just outside the bronze medallist’s 10.14 seconds.

His time of 10.10 seconds set in the heats would have been enough for the silver medal; his personal best of 10.01 set in the heats at the Tokyo Olympics last year would have won gold.

He revealed later that he came close to going home after a disappointing world championships in Oregon last month because there was “no way” he saw himself making the Birmingham final.

“I thought about almost packing it in because my shape wasn’t there and I thought I might as well go home and get in some work for next year,” he told Channel Seven.

“But I’m glad I came here. It’s been a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I would have loved to be on the podium. I’m not satisfied by any means but also not too beat up.”

Having missed a place in the Gold Coast 2018 final by the narrowest of margins, he said: “This was a first in my career; it’s a step in the right direction.”

He thanked his legion of supporters in Australia for getting up early to watch him race, and thanked his coach Andrew Murphy, the former Trinity Director of Athletics who now is elite sprint coach for Athletics Australia.

“He has been at the core of everything. He has guided me. He has been so much more than a coach; he’s been a friend, a mentor. I can’t overstate the importance of his impact on my career.”

Channel Seven athletics specialist Tamsyn Manou said: “He wasn’t far off. He looks bitterly disappointed, but I’m OK with that because that means he wanted more.”


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