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Darrel Brown
Lueyi Dovy of France (L) and Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago compete during the men's 4x100m relay final at the 10th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Helsinki 13 August 2005. Photo JEFF HAYNES/AFP Getty Images

Darrel Brown

Athlete Info

01 Disciplines 100m, 200m  
02 Born 11 October 1984, Arima  
03 Lives Auburn, Alabama, USA  
04 Statistics 1.81m, 81kg  
05 Coach Stephen Francis  
06 Manager Paul Doyle  
       

Personal Bests

space Event Results Year space
01 100m 9.99 2005  
02 100m 9.88w 2007  
03 200m 20.41 2001  

Yearly Progression

space Year 100m 200m space
01 1998 10.79 22.41  
02 1999 10.67 21.2  
03 2000 10.34 21.14  
04 2001 10.24 20.41  
05 2002 10.09 20.97  
06 2003 10.01 -  
07 2004 10.11A -  
08 2005 9.99 20.61  
09 2006 10.11 -  
10 2007 10.02, 9.88w 20.51  
11 2008 10.02 -  

Career Highlights

space Year Place Event Meet Mark space
01 1998 2nd 100m Central American & Caribbean U17 Championships    
02 2000 1st 100, 200m Central American & Caribbean U17 Championships    
03 2000 4th 100m World Junior Championships    
04 2001 1st 100m World Youth Championships    
05 2001 2nd 4x100m World Championships    
06 2001 2nd 100m Pan American Junior Championships    
07 2001 3rd 4x100 Pan American Junior Championships    
08 2002 1st 100m Central American & Caribbean U20 Championships    
09 2002 1st 100m World Junior Championships    
10 2002 3rd 4x100m World Junior Championships    
11 2003 2nd 100m Central American & Caribbean Championships    
12 2003 2nd 4x100m Pan American Games    
13 2003 2nd 100m World Championships    
14 2004 7th 4x100m Olympic Games    
15 2005 1st 100m Central American & Caribbean Championships    
16 2005 SF 100m World Championships    
17 2005 2nd 4x100m World Championships    
18 2005 4th - World Athletics Final    
19 2006 QF 100m Commonwealth Games    
             
Darrel Brown
Darrel Brown Trinidad and Tobago's former World Junior 100-metre champion Darrel Brown in full flight. World Championship 100m silver 2003.

Darrel Brown Biography

The world of international elite sprinting had hardly heard of Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay when Darrel Brown made his mark in the senior ranks at 18-years-old. A silver medal in the 100 metres at the 2003 World Championships, in Paris, confirmed the prodigious talent of the young man who had set World age records at  14, 16, 17 and, now, 18.

While Powell, Bolt and Gay have made spectacular progess, taking the 100m into new territory, the question has to be asked: where has Brown been all these years?

“Hurt.” Brown said with a good-natured smile. “But my mother always told me: ‘When its your time, it will come. You have to be patient.’ So I keep training and hopefully my time will come.” Does she still say it to him? “Every day,” Brown insisted.

Still determined to put the years of injury behind him and climb back to the top, Brown trains diligently under the supervision of Stephen Francis, Powell’s coach. Not only does Brown – and, of course, his mother Marilyn – believe more great days are ahead, so does Francis. “I have no doubt that, in the strongest possible field of 100m men on earth, he can medal,” Francis said, adding the caveat that he just needs to stay injury-free.

“I could be World champion, I could be Olympic champion, I could be anything, I just have to be patient and wait,” Brown said. Is he not frightened by the times that Powell, Bolt and Gay have been running? “No, I’m not frightened,” he said. “You just do what you have to do and hopefully you could come out on top.”

Born in Arima as the youngest of four siblings, Brown has two sisters and one brother. Although he was keen on football, he realised when he was only 13 that his talent was in sprinting. “I played soocer (with friends in the street) but I was not too good at it,” Brown recalled. “I realised I was better at running when I made my first Carifta Games (Caribbean regional junior championships) team.

Describing this occasion as his first success, Brown added: “In 1998, when I made my first Carifta team, I was the youngest on the whole team. I was 13. I came fifth in the Final (under 17, representing Trinidad and Tobago). In 1999 and 2000 I represented Trinidad again at the Carifta Games and I won the (U17) 100 and 200. At the CAC (Central American and Caribbean) Championships in 2000, I won the 100 and 200 (Under 17), and in 2000 I also came fourth (100m) in the World Junior Championships.”

For three years after he narrowly missed a medal in the 2000 World Juniors, in Santiago, there was no stopping Brown. In Santiago, he had finished behind Mark Lewis-Francis (Great Britain), Salem Mohamed Al-Yami (Saudi Arabia) and his fellow Trinidadian, Marc Burns but, in 2001, Brown won the 100m at the World Youth Championships, in Debrecen, Hungary, and, in 2002, the World Junior title in Kingston.

Already he had started to make inroads in the senior ranks. At the 2001 World Championships, in Edmonton, he helped Trinidad and Tobago to the silver medal in the 4x100m. In so doing, Brown (age 16 years, 305 days) became the youngest ever World Championships medallist.

In 2002, as well as his World Junior triumph (10.09), Brown won the 100m (10.18) at the CAC Championships in, Bridgetown. It was a Trinidad and Tobago 1-2 on both occasions as Burns finished second (10.18 in Kingston, 10.42 in Bridgetown). Then, in 2003, Brown finished just one-hundredth of a second away from becoming senior World champion.

After setting a World Junior record 10.01 in the Quarter-Finals in Paris, Brown was denied the senior title only by Kim Collins, the Commonwealth champion from St. Kitts and Nevis. Collins recorded 10.07 and Brown 10.08, although it was a memorable event for many reasons.

Powell was disqualified and so was John Drummond, who would go on to help coach Gay to his 100/200m double at the 2007 World Championships, in Osaka. But Drummond refused to leave, performing a lay-down protest on the track. Two of the big names behind Brown, Dwain Chambers and Tim Montgomery, were subsequently disqualified for doping offences.

How had Brown felt as an 18-year-old in the grown-up world of superstar athletes? “I was pretty nervous but, after we started, I just went out there and did my thing,” he recalled.  He was still a schoolboy at the time, attending El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive. But it didn’t stop him from becoming the youngest 100m medallist in World Championships history.

Brown was inspired more by Maurice Greene, of the United States, than his Trinidad and Tobago team-mate Ato Boldon. “I saw Ato in the ‘96 Olympics then Maurice came out from ’97 - he was the main one (inspiration),” Brown recalled. “When I saw him in ‘97 and he came back again in ‘99, I thought I would like to do that sometime in my career and maybe sometime I’ll do it.” Greene was 100m World champion in 1997, 1999 and 2001.

However, in 2004, Brown’s progress stalled due to a hip injury. Although he did compete in the Olympic Games, in Athens, it was only in the 4x100m, in which Trinidad and Tobago finished seventh. In 2005 he was eliminated in the 100m Semi-Finals (7th) at the World Championships, in Helsinki, although he did pick up a relay silver medal and won the Central American and Caribbean title (10.02) in Nassau, Bahamas.. “That year I was coming back from the injury,” he explained. “I had an on-and- off year – sometimes I would run fast, sometimes I did not run fast. It was inconsistent year for me.”

In 2006 Brown hardly competed because of hamstring trouble. And 2007? “Before the World Championships I got a stress fracture in my right foot,” he said. Allowing time, rather than surgery, to be the healer, Brown returned for a strong winter’s training, his second under Francis. Parting company with Henry Rolle, his coach from 2003, Brown joined the MVP group in Kingston, Jamaica. A big change then? “Not really,” Brown said. “Jamaica is just like Trinidad, so it wasn’t really a big adjustment.”

Francis explained: “Last year was a messy situation, where his toe started paining him, and it turned out there was a growth. But, this year he is in very, very good shape. He is still carrying some lingering injuries in his hamstring but I think he is good to go. If he is healthy, he is going to be a handful for any sprinter to handle.

“What he has been through is probably a result of his body type and maybe he had not done enough true developmental work as a youngster. But his fitness has improved a lot and he is more likely to be able to perform without great problems. There are no long-term injuries that he carries. I think most of his injuries are probably because he didn’t really have a good base for fitness.”

Leading up to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Brown has kept largely off the big stage. He did not appear in any of the four Golden League meetings and raced in only two Super Grand Prix competitions: he finished second in Doha (9 May) and fifth in Monaco (29 July). However, he won in Eugene on 1 June (10.07).

Asked his goal for Beijing, Brown said: “To reach the Final then try to win a medal.” After all he has been through, it is good to see him still fighting to regain his place back at the top. Hadn’t he been tempted to quit? “Sometimes that goes through my mind but I’m still young,” he said. “I’m only 23. Hopefully I have a few more years to try to put it together.”

Prepared by David Powell for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. © 2008 IAAF

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