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Aussie 100m sprinter breaks Olympics drought

James Matthey, March 30, 2021 6:45PM

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Rohan Browning (third from left) won the 100m at the Queensland Track Classic, securing a spot in the Olympic team. media_cameraRohan Browning (third from left) won the 100m at the Queensland Track Classic, securing a spot in the Olympic team.


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Rohan Browning is set to light up the track in Tokyo after becoming the first male Australian sprinter to qualify for the 100m at an Olympics in 17 years.

The 23-year-old clocked* a time of 10.05 seconds at the Queensland Track Classic on Saturday night — a new personal best by 0.03 seconds — to secure his place at the upcoming Games, edging out New Zealand’s Edward Osei-Knetia (10.12 seconds) to cross the line first.

Browning’s rapid race saw him register the third-fastest 100m time by an Australian in history, and he’ll have his sights on going even faster when he touches down in Japan in a few months.

“I’m really happy with that run today. I love it here in Brisbane — I should come up here more often to run these races,” Browning said.

Speaking about his history-making achievement, Browning added: “Those statistics, they’re nice superlatives* and ones that I’m proud of, but in the end of the day you’ve got to go there and perform.

“In 2019 in Doha (in Qatar), I was the first Australian in 12 years to get to a World Championships and I completely flamed* out there, so I’m trying hard not to recreate that Doha experience and do a lot better.

“There’s lots of work to do and working on everything is a real process, but it’s great to be able to book that ticket to Tokyo.”

Athletics - Commonwealth Games Day 4 media_cameraRohan Browning of Australia (right) competes in the Men’s 100m semi-finals on day four of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 8, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Qld. Picture: Getty Images

Browning’s effort comes after he became just the second Aussie to break the 10-second barrier when he won his race in a blistering* time of 9.96 seconds at the Illawarra Track Challenge in January.

That time couldn’t be used for Olympic qualification because it was wind assisted to the tune of +3.3m per second — 1.3m per second above the allotted limit.

Still, the run put Browning in rare air. Before him Patrick Johnson was the only Aussie sprinter to crack 10 seconds, first doing so when he clocked 9.93 seconds at a meet in Japan in 2003.

media_cameraRohan Browning (centre) became the second Australian in history to break the 10-second barrier over 100m when he won his race in 9.96 seconds at the Illawarra Track Challenge in NSW in 2020. Picture: David Tarbotton

Browning represented Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, finishing ninth in the semi-finals of the 100m with a time of 10.26 seconds. But he’ll be eyeing off bigger things now he’s booked his ticket to Tokyo.

Rohan Browning qualifies for Olympics 100m sprint


Jamaica’s Usain Bolt is the men’s 100m world record holder with a time of 9.58 seconds. He ran this in 2009 at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

The women’s 100m world record is held by Florence Griffith-Joyner of the US with a time of 10.49 seconds, which she ran in 1988 at the US Olympic Trials in Indiana, US.

The men’s 100m Australian record is held by Patrick Johnson with a time of 9.93 seconds, which he ran in Japan in 2003.

The women’s 100m Australian record is held by Melissa Breen with a time of 11.11 seconds, which she ran in Canberra in 2014.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt poses beside the indicating board after setting a new Men's 100m World Record in the Men's final at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer) media_cameraJamaica’s Usain Bolt poses beside the sign showing his new mean’s 100m world record of 9.58 in Berlin, Germany in 2009. Picture: AP


  • clocked: was recorded at (a particular speed or time)
  • superlatives: people or things that are examples of excellence
  • flamed: went very fast
  • blistering: so hot it causes blisters, meaning very fast


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  1. Who is Rohan?
  2. Where are the next Olympics?
  3. Where was Rohan’s most recent race?
  4. Who is Usain Bolt?
  5. What is Melissa Breen’s fastest time?


1. Race Time
Get yourself in a group of 4-6 students to go outside and time yourselves doing a 100m sprint. If you don’t have 100m marked out at your school take 100 large steps or measure with a ruler, tape measure or trundle wheel. Your teacher may make it part of your maths lesson. Complete the table below recording your results:

Use this template to complete the activity media_cameraUse this template to complete the activity

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: Mathematics, Health and Physical education.

2. Extension
Rohan Browning’s 100m time in 2018 was 10.26 seconds at the Commonwealth Games. On Saturday he recorded his fastest time of 10.05 seconds. How do you think he’s improved by 21 seconds in three years? Record your ideas below.

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: Health and Physical education

I Spy Nouns
Nouns are places, names (of people and objects), and time (months or days of the week).

How many nouns can you find in the article?

Can you sort them into places, names and time?

Pick three nouns and add an adjective (describing word) to the nouns.

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