“It felt great. I think I can go a little bit faster. I can’t wait to see Jonnie in the final."
USA’s Richard Browne showed that not only can he talk the talk but walk the walk by breaking Jonnie Peacock of Great Britain’s year-old world record in the semi-finals of the men’s 100m T44 at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.
In the build-up this event, Paralympic silver medallist Browne has built up his rivalry with Peacock like a boxer saying he wanted to knock the London 2012 champion off his pedestal in Lyon. On Monday (22 July) he showed a clear intention to do so in Tuesday's final by lowering Peacock’s world record of 10.85 seconds by 0.02.
Browne was ecstatic after seeing he had become the world’s fastest single leg amputee.
“It felt great. I think I can go a little bit faster. I can’t wait to see Jonnie in the final,” said Browne who earlier this year ran 10.85 in an unofficial meeting.
“I wanted to go fast in the prelim. That’s what my coach said to do so that’s what I did.”
Although clearly confident in his own abilities, Browne is well aware that his 20-year-old rival will be just as eager to win a first world title.
“He’s not worried, I know Jonnie. He’s ready to go. It will just give him more fire. He’ll be ready tomorrow.
“With Jonnie beside me it’s going to be a heavyweight battle all down the track, all 100m of it.”
In the semi-final before Browne’s race Peacock ran 10.87 to record his second fastest ever time but was not happy with his performance.
Peacock said: “I’m disappointed with it. I’m fairly confident and it was a season’s best. But honestly I messed up the start badly today. It was a real bad start. I want to get out there and cross the line and get the job done. There is no more talking to do.”
Peacock led home newly crowned 200m T44 world champion Jarryd Wallace, who ran 11.15, and defending world champion Jerome Singleton who clocked 11.24, a season’s best.
“That was comfortable,” said Jerome Singleton who won gold in Christchurch, New Zealand two years ago. “I went out there and I can make it work. We’ll find out if can go under 11 seconds tomorrow. I know what I’ve got to do god willing.
“It’s all up to God. I think the winner is already chosen. I’ve just got to go out there and perform.”
Singleton’s teammate Wallace was also in confident mood after clocking a personal best.
“It felt great. My goal was to make the final and I did that, so the next step is tomorrow.
“I’m excited to see what we can do and the race is going to go under 11 seconds.
“If you look at the field you know there is a lot of talent and a lot of respect for each other.”
New world record holder Browne stressed that Tuesday’s final will not be a two horse race between him and Peacock.
“You can’t count anybody out,” said Browne. “My teammates are running great. Jarryd broke the world record yesterday in the 200m.
He’s just run 11.15, which I think is a personal best, so he’s running great and Jerome is definitely running well. Everybody will be great and don’t count out Arnu (Fourie) either.”
So fast were the semi-finals that South Africa’s London 2012 bronze medallist Arnu Fourie was the fifth fastest qualifier with a time of 11.27, a time that would have secured gold at the last World Championships.
Fourie said: “It was very fast and a great race by Richard in the semi but we need to make sure we can go again tomorrow.
“Well done to Richard today but it is tomorrow that it’s all about.
“We train to be the best, and I will definitely go out there on Tuesday and try to win a medal.”
Tuesday’s 100m T44 final will be at 19:22. Just before the showdown the world’s fastest leg amputee – Brazil’s Alan Oliveira will aim to win is second gold in the men’s 100m T43.
The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, featuring over 1,000 athletes from nearly 100 countries, runs through until Sunday 28 July. It is the biggest gathering of international athletes since London 2012 and is being streamed each day live via www.ParalympicSport.TV.
Live results can be found at the Lyon 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships website whilst updates and behind the scenes pictures can be found at twitter.com/IPCAthletics and facebook.com/IPCAthletics.