A slow start in the semi-finals of the Olympic 100-metre sprint has cost Rohan Browning the chance to become the first Australian man to qualify for the Olympic finals in 65 years.

Browning secured his spot in the semi-final with a personal best of 10.01 seconds, pushing him into the spotlight ahead of Sunday’s race.

However, the 23-year-old was unable to replicate his success in the final, with a slow start forcing him to play catch-up from the start.

Britain’s Zharnel Hughes took out the gold in 9.98 seconds, with Nigeria’s Enoch Olaoluwa Adegoke and America’s Trayvon Bromwell tying at 10.0 seconds.

Following Browning’s loss, support for his effort poured out from Aussies back home who were proud of his achievements in Tokyo and excited to see what his future holds.

The sprinter has even earned a nickname among fans online, inspired by his wavy locks.

Speaking to Channel 7 after the race, Browning said it was a “tough” competition.

“I just never got out and then I had my work cut out for me. I feel like I came back well through the end of the race but I left myself with too much work to do and it is only 100 metres,” he said.

“You know, I’ve been consistent this year, and I’ve been knocking on the door of sub-10, a big breakthrough. Hopefully it comes later in the year in Europe. I’ll definitely walk away from this experience with a lot learned.

“I feel like this season I’ve had all the component parts of the race. It has been about putting it together in one run. And it is coming. But, you know, that’s part of figuring out the event and racing at this championship level.

“I mean in 2019 I came 40th. I ran basically dead last in my heat at the World Championships, so I’m heading in the right direction.”

Despite being outpaced in the semi-final, Browning has become the second fastest Australian sprinter, coming behind Patrick Johnson’s 9.93-second record from 2003.

Image: Rohan Browning / Instagram

This article first appeared on Over60.