'Cost him': Aussie fans 'gutted' by Rohan Browning drama at Olympics

Seen here, the slow start that cost Australia's Rohan Browning in the 100m semi-final.
A slow start cost Australia's Rohan Browning the chance of qualifying for the 100m sprint final. Pic: Ch7/Getty

Rohan Browning has fallen agonisingly short of becoming the first Australian man to qualify for the final of Olympic 100m sprint after a slow start cost him in Sunday's semi-final.

Browning sent shockwaves through Australia after clocking a personal-best 10.01 seconds in Saturday's heat to take his place in the semi-final.

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The 23-year-old from Sydney left the likes of 2011 world champion Yohan Blake from Jamaica trailing in his wake.

The lightning fast run saw him move to second spot on the Australian all-time list.

The only Aussie to have clocked a faster legal time was Patrick Johnson, who ran 9.93 back in 2003.

However, he was unable to repeat the feat on Sunday night, despite a brave run to finish fifth in his semi-final.

All eyes in Australia were then on Browning as the 23-year-old looked to make history for the Green and Gold.

No Australian man had qualified for an Olympic 100m final since Hec Hogan won bronze in Melbourne in 1956.

With the hopes of a nation resting on his young shoulders, Browning was made to pay for a sluggish start off the blocks as he was made to play catch-up from the get-go.

It was such a high quality field of sprinters beside the Aussie that the task proved too difficult.

Britain's Zharnel Hughes took out the race in 9.98 seconds, with Nigeria's Enoch Olaoluwa Adegoke and American Trayvon Bromell both clocking 10.0 seconds.

However, the time for pre-Games favourite Bromell - who only just scraped into the semi-finals - was not enough to see him clinch a spot in the final in what was a massive shock.

Aussie fans gutted for Rohan Browning

For Browning, it was a case of close but no cigar as the Aussie was left to lament what could have been.

“The damage done in the first five metres of the race,” Channel Seven commentator Bruce Macavaney said about the Australian's slow start.

Aussie viewers were understandably gutted for Browning but immensely proud of his displays in Tokyo and looking forward to seeing what he can do in the future.

Rohan Browning 'heading in the right direction'

“It is tough," Browning told Channel 7 after the race.

"I just never got out and then I had my work cut out for me. I feel like I came back well through the end of the race but I left myself with too much work to do and it is only 100 metres.

“You know, I’ve been consistent this year, and I’ve been knocking on the door of sub-10, a big breakthrough. Hopefully it comes later in the year in Europe. I’ll definitely walk away from this experience with a lot learned.”

“I feel like this season I’ve had all the component parts of the race. It has been about putting it together in one run. And it is coming. But, you know, that’s part of figuring out the event and racing at this championship level.

Pictured here, Australia's Rohan Browning running in the 100m sprint semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics.
Rohan Browning finished fifth in his 100m sprint semi-final at the Tokyo Olympics. Pic: Getty (Michael Steele via Getty Images)

"I mean in 2019 I came 40th. I ran basically dead last in my heat at the World Championships, so I’m heading in the right direction.”

American Fred Kerley won the first semi-final in 9.96 seconds, beating Canada's Andre De Grasse as the pair became the first to qualify for Sunday night's final.

The third and final semi-final was the quickest by some stretch, with China's Su Bingtian and American Ronnie Baker both running 9.83 seconds

Italy's Marcell Jacobs was only fractionally behind in third, with his 9.84 seconds a new European record.

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