Olympian-in-waiting Rohan Browning can taste more seismic breakthroughs after storming to third on the Australian men’s 100m sprint alltime rankings at the Queensland Track Classic.
The best domestic ensemble assembled for a meet outside of a national championships in more than a decade had the crowd anticipating something special and the 23-year-old delivered with a sizzling 10.05 seconds meet record in the final.
Only Patrick Johnson (9.93) and Matt Shirvington (10.03) are ahead of Browning and it seems only a matter of time before he legally snaps the 10-second barrier after running a wind-assisted 9.96 in January.
The Sydney University law student is now all but certain to become the first male to represent Australia in the individual 100m at an Olympics since Josh Ross in 2004.
Chasing 10.08 for an automatic Olympic qualifier, the Andrew Murphy coached sprinter delivered and can begin plotting for the Tokyo Games.
“It’s been the time I’ve been chasing all year,” Browning said after holding off New Zealand’s Edward Osei-Nketia (10.12) and Tasmania’s Jack Hale (10.33).
“I had a taste of sub-10 this year but doing that today gives me the confidence I can do it legally.”
Browning’s feat sparked a series of brilliant performances on the track.
Minutes later, Victorians Catriona Bisset (1:59.12) and Linden Hall (1:59.22) both broke the two-minute barrier in the women’s 800m, the first time two Australians have done so in the same race.
It was Bissett’s second Olympic qualifier and for her training partner Hall the personal best time gave her another feather in her cap to go with her 1500m qualifier.
“She’s one of my really close friends,” Bisset said of Hall.
“She’ll smash that four-minute mark in the 1500, or at least I hope she does so she stays out of the 800.”
Fifteen-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth further spiked excitement levels around Australian middle distance racing whenshe finished third in 2:01.60.
Hana Basic is a breath away from qualifying for a women’s individual 100m berth in Tokyo after twice running under 11.20sec – just shy of the 11.15 selection standard – for personal bests on the same night.
Her 11.19 dash in the final with barely a puff of breeze was as impressive as her 11.18 heat time with a +2m/sec tailwind.
In a sign of her soaring expectations, Liz Clay shook her head after posting her fifth sub-13sec (12.98) performance of the season in winning the 100m hurdles in a strong field.
Brooke Stratton was a comfortable winner in the women’s long jump but left a little deflated after her best leap of 6.63m fell short of the 6.82m Olympic qualifier.