Aaron Brown (sprinter)

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Aaron Brown
Aaron Brown.jpg
Personal information
NationalityCanadian
Born (1992-05-27) 27 May 1992 (age 30)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight79 kg (174 lb)
Sport
SportRunning
Event(s)100 metres, 200 metres
College teamUSC Trojans
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)100 m: 9.96 (Montverde 2016)
200 m: 19.95 (Lausanne 2019)

Aaron Brown (born 27 May 1992) is a Canadian sprinter who specializes in the 100 and 200 metres. As part Canada's 4×100 m relay team he is a two-time Olympic medallist at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics, and the 2022 World champion. Brown has also won two World bronze medals as part of Canada's 4×100 m relay teams in 2013 and 2015.

As an individual, Brown is the 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist in the 200 m, and won a number of junior championship medals early in his career.[1]

Career[edit]

Junior success and London Olympics[edit]

Brown attended Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute until 2010, and committed to the University of Southern California (USC) on a track scholarship.[2] In 2009 Brown won the silver medal in the 100 m at the World Youth Championships in Brixen, Italy with a time of 10.74 into a headwind of 1.2 m/s. Prezel Hardy of the US took the gold and Giovanni Galbieri of Italy the bronze.[3]

The 2010 track season saw Brown suffer through several injuries, including in a dramatic 200 m final at the 2010 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) meet. One month later at the World Junior Championships Brown, after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 100 m fought hard, clawing his way to a bronze-medal finish in front of the home crowd in the men's 200 m, in a personal-best time of 21 seconds flat. Shōta Iizuka of Japan took the gold in 20.67 seconds, with Aliaksandr Linnik of Belarus grabbing the silver in 20.89. Brown finished just 0.02 ahead of fourth-place Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa, who was clocked in 21.02.[4]

In 2011, Brown placed third in the men's 100 m dash at the Canadian Track and Field Championships held 24 June in Calgary, Alberta. Brown had a time of 10.39 in the finals to finish in third place behind winner Sam Effah 10.23 and Jared Connaughton 10.31. Brown had an outstanding freshman season, reaching the NCAA semifinals in the 100 m dash and posting a best legal time of 10.38.[5] Brown finished a successful season winning silver with the men's 4×100 metres relay team and won individual bronze in the 100 m at the 2011 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships hosted in Miramar, Florida, United States at the Ansin Sports Complex.

Brown qualified to Canada's team for the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he placed third in his heat in the men's 200 m with a time of 20.55.[6] He placed fourth in the semifinals with a time of 20.42.[6]

World medals and Rio Olympics[edit]

Brown attended 2013 World Championships in Athletics. Competing in the 100 m, he qualified second in his heat with a time of 10.15. He ran the same time in the semifinals but only had the thirteenth-fastest time, meaning he missed the final. He also ran with the Canadian 4×100 m relay team, winning a bronze medal while running at 37.92 with Gavin Smellie, Dontae Richards-Kwok, and Justyn Warner.

At the 2015 World Championships in Athletics, Brown ran a 10.03 wind assisted at +2.1 m/s in the heats of the 100 m, though in the semifinals he ran 10.15, missing the final again. Team Canada repeated their bronze medal win in the relay, running a 38.13 with Andre De Grasse, Brendon Rodney, and Justyn Warner.

Brown continued to set faster and faster times as his career progressed. In 2016 Brown ran a 9.96 in the 100 m joining Andre De Grasse in the sub-10 second club.[7] Brown beat Tyson Gay in the preliminaries at the Star Athletics meet in Florida while running the 9.97. In the final he finished second to Marvin Bracy who ran a 9.94 in front of Brown's 10.01.[7]

He participated as part of Canada's Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro.[8] In his initial sprint distance of the 100 metres he ran 10.24 in the heats and did not advance into the semifinals. While he did advance to the semis in the 200 metres with a 20.23, his 20.37 there did not get him into the final race.

Brown was part of the 4 x 100 m relay team, which finished third in their heats. In the final the team initially appeared to have come agonizingly close to a medal, having placed 0.02 seconds behind the third-place United States team, and setting the national record. However, the American team was then disqualified for an improper baton pass, handing the bronze to Canada and Brown. He ran together with anchor De Grasse, Brendon Rodney, Akeem Haynes, and Mobolade Ajomale who only ran in the heats.[9]

Commonwealth silver and Tokyo Olympics[edit]

In the year following the success in Rio de Janeiro, Brown struggled, despite a promising gold medal win for Canada's 4x200 m relay team at the 2017 World Relay Championships.[10] After a false start at the 100 m final of the 2017 Canadian Championships, he was disqualified and thus only sent to race the 200 m at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics. Upon arrival in London for the championship, he was one of many athletes there to contract norovirus. He recorded the fastest time in his heat, but was disqualified as a result of a lane violation.[11] He also competed in the 4x100 metres relay. Missing their anchor Andre De Grasse, the Canadian relay team ultimately placed sixth in the finals.[12]

Following these disappointments, Brown dedicated his 2018 season to focusing on the 2018 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Gold Coast.[11] Named to Canada's team for the Games, specifically to compete in the 200 m, Brown initially placed third in the event final with a time of 20.34. However, second-place finisher Zharnel Hughes was then disqualified for jostling eventual gold medalist Jereem Richards, resulting in Brown winning the silver medal.[13] This was the first major individual medal of Brown's senior career, which he credited with removing "that chip on my shoulder this year."[11] He went on to enjoy success on the 2018 Diamond League, running the 200 mm in a sub-20 second time (19.98) for the first time at the Bislett Games in Oslo. He won the Golden Spike Ostrava over reigning World champion Ramil Guliyev.[11]

Despite being defending gold medalists in the 4x200 at the 2019 World Relay Championships, the Brown and the Canadian relay team failed to advance out of the heats in the 4x100 m relay, attributed in part to an awkward baton exchange from Gavin Smellie to Brown.[14] Competing on the 2019 Diamond League, he won back-to-back gold medals in the 200 m at the Diamond League Shanghai and the BAUHAUS-galan in Stockholm.[15] He ran a new personal best time of 19.95 in the 200 m at the Athletissima in Switzerland, and went on to win both the 100 and 200 m events at the Canadian Championships.[16] Competing at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Brown qualified for the finals of both the 100 and 200 m, finishing eighth and sixth. In a disappointing finish, the Canadian relay team did not advance to the 4x100 m final despite having the eighth-fastest overall time due to their running in the faster of the two heats.[17]

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of much of the international athletic season in 2020, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo being delayed by a full year. Brown opted not to contest the 100 m in Tokyo, instead aiming to maximize his chances in the 200 m.[15] He placed first in his heat, and then won his semi-final with a season's best time of 19.99, advancing to his first individual Olympic final.[18] He placed sixth in the final with a time of 20.20. Brown raced with a photo of his family under his bib, remarking afterward "I run for Canada. I run for my fans. But most importantly I run for my wife and son."[19] Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse then went on to the 4x100 m relay, where they won a second consecutive bronze medal.[20] On 18 February 2022, Great Britain was stripped of its silver medal in the men's 4×100 m relay after the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed CJ Ujah’s doping violation. Canada was upgraded to silver.[21][22]

World Championship gold[edit]

Competing on the 2022 Diamond League, Brown won his first ever 100 m title at the British Grand Prix.[23] At the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, he advanced to the final of the 100 m, finishing eighth. He said that it was "encouraging" to have made the final, given his emphasis on the 200 m.[24] In the 200 m, Brown experienced a mishap in his heat when his starting block became unhinged from the track, causing him to fall, but the heat was restarted and he qualified to the semi-final. In turn, he qualified to the World 200 m final for the second time.[25] Brown finished in seventh place.[26] In advance of the 4×100 m relay, the prospects of the Canadian team were called into question with anchor runner De Grasse's struggles with COVID-19 infection shortly before the championships.[27] However, the Canadian team qualified for the finals with the third-fastest time in the heats, only 0.01 seconds out of second. In the final, the Canadians staged a major upset victory over the heavily favoured American team to take the gold medal, aided by smooth baton exchanges while the Americans made multiple fumbles, breaking the national record Brown had previously helped set at the Rio Olympics. This was Canada's third gold in the event, and the others being consecutive Donovan Bailey-era wins in 1995 and 1997.[28] The result "stunned" the heavily American crowd at Hayward Field, though De Grasse noted "there's a lot of Canadian flags out there, a lot of fans cheering us on."[29][30] Reflecting on the historic win with his teammates, Brown said "I trusted these guys. We had the right spacing. I love these guys and I'm so proud. I worked so hard this championship and to end it off like this is icing on the cake."[29]

Brown was initially named to the Canadian team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, but withdrew after the World Championships, with Athletics Canada citing a need "to properly recover and prepare for the rest of the season."[31]

Personal best[edit]

Distance Time Venue Notes
100 m 9.96 s Montverde, FL, U.S.A. (11 June 2016)
200 m 19.95 s Pontaise, Lausanne (5 July 2019)
4 x 100 m relay 37.48 s Hayward Field, Eugene, OR, U.S.A. (23 July 2022) NR

Honours[edit]

In 2012 Brown was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.[32]

Personal life[edit]

His father, Ian, is from Jamaica, and his mother, Sonia, is from England. He's his parents' only son and the second of their three children.[15]

Brown married his college sweetheart Preeya Brown in February 2020, and their son Kingsley, was born on January 26, 2021.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bowmore Road and Birchmount Park grad Aaron Brown wins bronze medal as member of Canada's 4x100m men's relay team at Tokyo Olympics". Beach Metro Community News. 6 August 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Young athlete wants to leave high school on high note | Share News". Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. ^ IAAF. "Williams and Hardy dominate sprints as Norway and Thailand clinch first ever World Youth titles – Day Two – Evening report". Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  4. ^ Lakshman, Mihira (23 July 2010). "Toronto's Brown wins 200m bronze". CBC Sports. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  5. ^ Trojans, USC. "Brown Places Third At Canadian Track Championships". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Aaron Brown - Events and results". London 2012. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  7. ^ a b Steven Tzemis (11 June 2016). "Aaron Brown, Canadian sprinter, runs sub-10 in 100m in Florida". CBC Sports.
  8. ^ Hossain, Asif (11 July 2016). "Athletics Canada nominates largest squad to Team Canada for Rio". Canadian Olympic Committee. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Relay redemption: De Grasse anchors Canada to bronze after U.S. disqualified". CBC Sports. 20 August 2016. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Men's 4x200 metre relay strikes gold at the 2017 IAAF World Relays". Athletics Canada. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d Sammet, Michelle (18 June 2018). "Aaron Brown is ready to make a mark". Spikes. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  12. ^ "4x100 Metres Relay Result | IAAF World Championships London 2017 | iaaf.org". Archived from the original on 12 August 2017.
  13. ^ Francis, Anne (12 April 2018). "Canada's Aaron Brown's medal upgraded to silver in dramatic 200m final at Commonwealth Games". Canadian Running. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  14. ^ "Canada emerges with 1 medal from World Relays". CBC Sports. 12 May 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Jacob, Vivek (17 January 2021). "Running 'easy': Aaron Brown's escape from the darkness of doubt". CBC Sports. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Canada's Aaron Brown among stars looking for redemption at track and field worlds". CBC Sports. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  17. ^ "Canadian 4x100 men's relay team eliminated at world track and field championships". Globe & Mail. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  18. ^ Heroux, Devin (3 August 2021). "Canada's De Grasse, Brown will race for Olympic gold in men's 200m final". CBC Sports. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  19. ^ Heroux, Devin (4 August 2021). "'Now he's a legend': Andre De Grasse wins Olympic gold in men's 200m". CBC Sports. Retrieved 4 August 2021.
  20. ^ Strashin, Jamie (6 August 2021). "Andre De Grasse powers Canada to Olympic bronze in men's 4x100m relay". CBC Sports. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  21. ^ "Britain's relay team loses Olympic silver over Ujah doping". AP NEWS. 18 February 2022. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Canadian men's 4x100m Olympic team bumped up to silver as Brits DQ'ed for doping". CBC Sports. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
  23. ^ Harrison, Doug (21 May 2022). "Aaron Brown captures his 1st Diamond League 100-metre race, beating Yohan Blake". CBC Sports. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  24. ^ Heroux, Devin (16 July 2022). "Kerley leads U.S. sweep in men's 100m final at athletics worlds as De Grasse fails to qualify". CBC Sports. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  25. ^ Heroux, Devin (19 July 2022). "Canada's Aaron Brown sweats way to 200m final on sweltering night at World Athletics Championships". CBC Sports. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  26. ^ Gillespie, Kerry (22 July 2022). "Aaron Brown's individual medal no closer as American men sweep 200 at the world championships". Toronto Star. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  27. ^ Heroux, Devin (20 July 2022). "Questions abound about Canadian 4x100m relay team selections at athletics worlds". CBC Sports. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  28. ^ Dickinson, Marley (24 July 2022). "Canada triumphs to world 4x100m relay gold in national record time". Canadian Running. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  29. ^ a b Heroux, Devin (23 July 2022). "Canada wins gold in men's 4x100m relay at World Athletics Championships". CBC Sports. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  30. ^ "De Grasse leads Canada to men's 4x100m relay gold at world championships". Sportsnet. 23 July 2022. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  31. ^ "Four Canadians including De Grasse, LePage withdraw from Commonwealth Games". CBC Sports. 26 July 2022. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  32. ^ "Olympic and Paralympic athletes to receive Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal". Official Canadian Olympic Team Website | Team Canada | 2016 Olympic Games. 19 December 2012. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  33. ^ Ewing, Lori (21 May 2021). "Becoming a dad has given Brown a new perspective on his track career". Times Colonist. Retrieved 6 August 2021.

External links[edit]