On Tuesday evening in Eugene, Canada’s Aaron Brown reached his fifth straight major championship final, after clocking 20.10 seconds in the semi-final of the 200m. The 30-year-old sprinter from Scarborough, Ont. knows he’s reaching these finals for a reason, and on Thursday, it’s his shot to prove it.
Reaching the final of a major championship isn’t easy, and Brown believes it’s a testament to hard work and resiliency. “In 2017, I knew it was my shot to get on the podium in London, but I was disqualified in the heats for a lane infraction, and up to that point I never made a world individual final,” says Brown.
He cites that specific moment in his career as the spark that ignited his desire.
Despite being ranked fifth in the world in the men’s 200m, Brown has not made qualifying for the final easy on himself. In the heats, he took a tumble out of the blocks (which were not anchored properly, though thankfully, the race was called back) and then in the semis, he held on by three one-thousandths of a second to secure the second automatic qualifier spot for the final.
“I would’ve liked to have a little more daylight between me and Filippo Tortu,” says Brown. “I didn’t expect him to close that hard in the final 50 metres.”
When asked if this final felt different than others, Brown responded, “Honestly, I haven’t let it sink in yet. I am still processing how I performed in the heats and semis. My job now is to recover and get myself mentally prepared for Thursday.”
You don’t reach five straight major finals without coming up with big performances at the right time. “I know either 19.7 or 19.8 seconds will be needed to reach the 200m podium,” Brown says.
Although Brown has only gone under-20 on four occasions (19.95 PB from 2019), he will look for a personal best performance this Thursday night among one of the deepest 200m fields.
The 2022 World Athletics Championships are taking place from July 15-25 from Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. All the action will be brought to you by Canadian Running and Asics Canada. Follow us on Twitter on Instagram for all things Team Canada and up-to-date exclusive news and content.