“Now I’ve got your world title, I’ll coming for your Paralympic title in Rio.”
Since breaking onto the scene at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, US sprinter Richard Browne has developed into one of the Paralympic Movement’s biggest stars, but up until October the 24-year-old had never won a major individual title.
In fact some would have said his mouth was often faster than his legs at major events!
But at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, all that changed with the T44 sprinter not just winning two world titles, but obliterating two world records in the process. His performances have landed him the No. 24 spot in the International Paralympic Committee’s Top Moments of 2015.
After winning 100m T44 silver at London 2012 and the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, behind Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock, Browne arrived in Doha determined not to leave without standing on top of the podium.
First-up for the American was his favoured 200m T43/44, an event he was the world record holder in. After cruising through the heats as the fastest qualifier, he set up a mouth-watering final showdown with Brazil’s Alan Oliveira, the man who had won T43 gold two years earlier.
Starting in lane six, with all his rivals inside him, Browne made a blistering start and led by nearly 10m off the bend from Germany’s Felix Streng. Aware that Oliveira would stage a trademark late surge, Browne powered away from the field in the last 90m, leaving nothing to chance.
He crossed the line in 21.27 seconds to take the gold and lower his own 13-month-old world record by a staggering 0.35 seconds. The smile on his face after winning his first individual world title was nearly as wide as his margin of victory.
Four days later, Browne was once again back singing and dancing to the US anthem, this time after topping the podium in the 100m T44 with another world record.
Despite a poor start against an injury-hit field, Browne put in an unbelievable last 70m to stop the clock at 10.61 seconds. His time was 0.1 seconds faster than the previous record held by fellow US sprinter Jarryd Wallace, and 0.24 seconds quicker than the fastest time run by absent Peacock. Browne was quick to send his British rival a warning soon after crossing the line.
“Now I’ve got your world title, I’ll coming for your Paralympic title in Rio,” was Browne’s message to the Paralympic champion.
Six weeks on from Doha 2015, Browne still cannot get used to being the double world champion.
“It hasn't quite set in because I wanted to do better,” he said, before setting ambitions targets for next year.
“In 2016 I'm looking to go 10 low and 19.9 in the 200. I need to work on my speed endurance and start and I will do it.
“I'm definitely looking forward to Rio. It will be amazing to race Alan [Oliveira] in his home country. It's a spectacular city and will be an unforgettable competition.”
To find out more about the IPC’s Top 50 Moments of 2015, visit the dedicated page on the IPC’s website.