Richard Browne targets sub-21 seconds for 200-meters

By International Paralympic Committee | Sept. 06, 2014, 5 p.m. (ET)

After smashing his own men's 200-meter (T44) world record at the Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on Friday, sprinter Richard Browne of Jackson, Mississippi, said he wants to break the 21 seconds barrier in 2015.

In the lead-up to Friday’s race, which featured a high quality field including the world champion Jarryd Wallace of Athens, Georgia, and Germany’s European title winner Felix Streng, Browne said he felt confident that he could lower his own world record of 21.91 seconds set this April.

His confidence proved true.

In front of a packed 50,000 crowd in Brussels, the 23 year old, aided by a sensational first 100m from Wallace, finished in 21.62 to take 0.29 seconds off his previous best.

“It was a great race," Browne said. "Jarryd got out really nice and so did Felix and Paul, so I knew I needed to run a great curve. I was really worried about my curve coming into this race. I knew if I had a decent one, I could come off it and get into my running.”

Although Browne’s time is still nearly a second slower than the T43 world record of 20.66 set by Brazil’s Alan Oliveria Fonteles at last year’s International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, he is fully confident it will not be for long.

“I’m only about 90-percent right now,” he explained. “Hopefully I can get down to that 20 point something range which is my aim for next year.

“In 2015, with a full year of training behind me - hopefully I can stay healthy as I’ve had a few injuries - I can get it down below 21 seconds. That’s the aim.”

Despite his sensational form this year, Browne has yet to win gold at a major championship. At both the London 2012 Paralympic Games and last year’s world championships, he had to settle for silver behind Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock, but now says he would swap both his 100m and 200m world records for winning gold.

“I’ve been here for a year now and all I hear is that Jonnie is the world champion. I’m growing really tired of it. Hopefully next year I cannot just break the world record in the 100m again, but become world champion in the 100 and 200.”