America’s fastest man Trayvon Bromell is at risk of missing the semi-finals of the men’s 100m in Tokyo after finishing fourth in his heat.
Bromell, who qualified fastest at US Olympic Trials, was slow out of the blocks and registered a time of 10.05 seconds.
Failing to progress beyond the heats would be a huge shock for the American, who has run the fastest 100m time this year of 9.77s.
Nigeria’s Enoch Adegoke set a new personal best, surging to the line in 9.98s as he won Bromell’s heat — the second of the night at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.
Before the heats former Australian sprinter Matt Shirvington tipped Bromell and countryman Ronnie Baker to be in the mix for a podium come time for the final. Baker, who qualified second quickest at US trials, won the opening heat in a time of 10.03s.
The top three finishers of each heat automatically progress to the semi-finals, while the next three best times are also allowed through. Given Bromell finished fourth in his race, he faces a nervous wait to see if his time cuts the mustard.
There was a stunned reaction after the 26-year-old’s surprisingly sluggish time.
Australian Rohan Browning, who has a personal best of 10.05s, is set to run in the final heat of the night as he becomes the first Australian in 23 years to compete in the blue riband event at a Games.
Browning became just the second Aussie after Patrick Johnson to break the 10-second barrier, albeit wind assisted (so it doesn’t count as a legal time), in January this year. Then in April he clocked a time of 10.05 seconds at the Queensland Track Classic — a new PB by 0.03 seconds — to qualify for the Australian team.
Browning’s rapid race saw him register the third-fastest 100m time by an Australian in history, and he had his sights on going even quicker in Japan.
Shirvington, who made the semi-finals of the 2000 Olympics, said before Browning’s heat he believed the young gun had a genuine shot at making the final.
“I honestly think he’s more than capable of making the final at these Games,” Shirvington, who is hosting part of Channel 7’s Olympic coverage, told news.com.au. “We haven’t had a finalist since 1956 so that in itself would be a phenomenal thing for Australia.
“The reason I think he can do it is because he’s been running consistently around 10.0. This year alone he’s run 10.05, 10.08, 10.09 and I was looking back at London and Rio and to make the final, qualifying times were around 10.01, 10.02.”