Home » Rohan Browning squeaks into Olympic 100m event as Australia’s athletics team finalised

Rohan Browning squeaks into Olympic 100m event as Australia’s athletics team finalised

Rohan Browning squeaks into Olympic 100m event as Australia’s athletics team finalised

Sprinter Rohan Browning has secured a place in the 100m event at the Paris Olympics despite a form slump which left Australia’s fastest man on the verge of missing out.

Australia finalised its 75-member athletics team for Paris on Monday, marking the final selection announcement ahead of the Games. A total of 460 Australian Olympians have booked their tickets to France in recent months.

Chef de mission Anna Meares said she was “so excited for Australians to see this team represent them with pride and determination in under three weeks’ time”.

The athletics squad is the biggest Australia has sent to an overseas games, featuring entrants in 39 of the 48 events in Paris.

Browning had already looked likely to run in the 4x100m relay, but he only narrowly secured one of 56 places available in the standalone event after finishing with a rank of 54.

The 26-year-old has slipped down the world rankings this year after managing a minor knee complaint, and he has not gone close to his personal best of 10.01s set in the heats in Tokyo.

Although large, the team named wasn’t big enough for middle distance prodigy Cameron Myers. Selectors chose Oliver Hoare and Stewart McSweyn – who both reached the final in Tokyo – as well as 22-year-old Adam Spencer to race the 1500m thanks to their superior times. McSweyn will also run in the 5000m.

Myers had recorded an Olympic qualifying time, but Australia had only three places available and the 18-year-old – who holds the world record for under-18 athletes in the event – was overlooked.

In another tight selection decision, Catriona Bisset was selected ahead of Bendere Oboya in the women’s 800m. Claudia Hollingsworth and Abbey Caldwell had already been named.

Expectations are high for the team, after promising results at the 2023 World Championships. There, Nina Kennedy shared gold in the women’s pole vault with American Katie Moon. Kennedy said on Monday: “Gold is the goal [for Paris], however it’s important to differentiate the different between goals and expectations. Goals are uncontrollable, but what I can control are the expectations I have of myself and my team.”

Jess Hull recorded a personal best in the 1500m at the Diamond League in Paris over the weekend. Photograph: David Winter/REX/Shutterstock

Jemima Montag won silver in the 20km walk in 2023, and high jump delivered silver and bronze for Eleanor Patterson and Nicola Olyslagers respectively. Bronze medals were also secured by Mackenzie Little in the women’s javelin and Kurtis Marschall in the men’s pole vault. All will compete in Paris.

The team’s 2023 World Championships return was an improvement on the more modest success in Tokyo when the team won just three medals, highlighted by Olyslagers’ silver.

While recent medals have come largely from field events, track athletes also have recorded promising results in the lead up to Paris. Jess Hull recorded the fifth fastest time in history in the 1,500m at the Paris Diamond League over the weekend, finishing second behind Kenyan Faith Kipyegon. Another Australian, Linden Hall, finished fourth. Georgia Griffith won the 3000m in the Diamond League event in Oslo last month.

Two more Diamond League meetings in Monaco and London will be held before the athletics program at the Olympics begins on 1 August.