"I ran 22.01 last week in the 200m which was a great time for me. The wind was a little high, around 2.3m/s, so it wasn’t quite legal. But it was the fastest time ever for a T44 200m"
After running an unofficial 10.85 seconds over 100m and a wind assisted 22.01 for the 200m at a meeting in Florida, USA last Saturday (8 June), USA’s 100m T44 Paralympic silver medallist Richard Browne believes both sprint world records are in serious jeopardy at this weekend’s US Paralympics Track and Field National Championships.
Browne, 21, broke onto the world scene at London 2012 when he ran a personal-best of 11.03 to secure 100m T44 silver behind Great Britain’s world-record holder Jonnie Peacock.
And, after posting two blistering times last weekend following two months out with an injury, the former American high school football player is in confident record-breaking mood ahead of the US trials in San Antonio, Texas.
“I certainly think the world record is in jeopardy this weekend. It’s been in jeopardy since it went up,” said Browne. “If it wasn’t for my injury I think it would have been broken a lot sooner.
“This weekend I’m planning on putting up a good time at Nationals that is official and faster than 10.85.”
Browne’s time of 10.85 seconds equalled Peacock’s world-record time set at last July’s US trials for the Paralympics. However, because Browne’s race at the Star Athletics Sprint Meet was not sanctioned by IPC Athletics, his time will not stand, meaning Peacock remains the sole record holder.
This weekend’s trials are a sanctioned competition and Browne is not just hoping to break Peacock’s 100m T44 record but also South African Arnu Fourie’s 200m T44 world record of 22.49, set at London 2012.
Browne said: “I ran 22.01 last week in the 200m which was a great time for me. The wind was a little high, around 2.3m/s, so it wasn’t quite legal. But it was the fastest time ever for a T44 200m.
“I have come the closest to going sub-22 seconds and I feel both at Nationals and in Lyon I will go 21 seconds.”
It is not just the clock Browne will be racing this weekend, but also some of the best amputee sprinters in the world in the form of his American rivals. Despite the strong competition he is likely to face however, Browne remains extremely positive about his chances of victory.
“Coming into the nationals, I’m mostly looking out for Blake [Leeper],” he explained.
“I’m not really worried about Jarryd Wallace or David Prince in the 100m or 200m as they’ve not put up good times yet. Blake Leeper, though, is amazingly fast so I think it will be a great race.
“Whoever wins out of the Americans at the US Nationals better believe that we’ll be on the podium in Lyon,” he added.
When discussing his rivals for this weekend, Browne did not spontaneously mention the current 100m T44 world champion Jerome Singleton. At the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, Singleton caused a huge shock by becoming the first man in seven years to beat South African Oscar Pistorius over 100m.
“No disrespect, but I don’t quite worry about Jerome,” admitted Browne, who like Singleton also studied physics at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Honestly, at the top right now is me, Jonnie [Peacock] and Blake [Leeper].
“I think Jerome is past his prime. He has only run 11.1 and at the Paralympics I think he went 11.25. Unless he puts up a better time I don’t think he’s a threat at the moment.
“I don’t count him out at all though. I know he’s really good at training under the radar ahead of the nationals and he’s maybe run once or twice.
“He is one of the pioneers of this sport and was the first US world champion since Marlon Shirley. It was amazing when he beat Oscar in 2011 but I feel like his reign as the main US T44 runner is over.
“It’s now my turn.”
Browne is one of more than 120 athletes who will compete for a berth on the US team that will compete at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, which will take place between 19 and 28 July.
Lyon will be the biggest gathering of international athletes since London 2012, with 1,300 athletes from 90 countries expected to compete.
For further information, please visit the official website for the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships.