Brown bows out of 400m semis in Moscow
Guardian Sports Editor
Published: Aug 13, 2013
MOSCOW, Russia– There was no doubt that Chris ‘The Fireman’ Brown gave it his all in his semi-final heat at these 14th International Association of Athletic Federations’ (IAAF) World Championships here in Moscow, Russia, but at the end of the day, it still wasn’t good enough as he failed to make the final of the men’s 400 meters (m).
Running from lane eight, the Bahamian national record in the event who had made five of the past six major meet finals coming into these world championships, simply fell short by a very slim margin.
Brown ran a season’s best time of 45.18 seconds for third in his semi-final heat, which turned out to be 10th overall. All eight of the runners who advanced to the final ran under 45 seconds. Brown said that it was extremely difficult running from lane eight, but the cagey veteran added that he isn’t making any excuses for not advancing. At the end of the day, he just finished less than three tenths of a second short.
“I ran my own race. I just couldn’t see anyone in front of me,” he said last night. “It was a season’s best but it wasn’t good enough to get me into the final. I’m a little disappointed, but I’ll take it. I still give God the praise for allowing me to finish healthy and strong.”
Brown said that being out there on an island by himself in lane eight was not the cards that he was hoping to be dealt, but as a professional on the world’s biggest stage for athletics you just have to deal with it and hope for the best.
“Normally, I would have one or two persons in front of me to gauge off of, but tonight I was just running blind. It’s not like 5-10 years ago when I was a bit younger. It’s something to learn from, and you just move on.”
Brown’s relentless effort is one that he hopes all young Bahamian quarter-milers, and Bahamian athletes in general, would learn from and wish to duplicate. Three of the guys in the men’s 4x400m relay pool – LaToy Williams, Wesley Neymour and Ojay Ferguson – are 25 years of age or younger.
“These guys are going to one day carry the Bahamian flag on their shoulders. I just tell them to take notes, pay attention and when the time comes, you have to be ready to step up to the plate,” said Brown. “I think that you could definitely expect to see the men’s 4x400m team in the final. We’re hungry and ready to go. Everybody just got to be healthy and stay strong. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and everyone ready to eat. We just have to come out hungry. That’s our focus right now, and I believe that we could get the job done.”
As for Brown’s 400m semi-final heat last night, that was taken by former World and Olympic Champion LaShawn Merritt, of the United States in 44.60 seconds. Jonathan Borlee, from Belgium, finished second in that semi-final heat in 44.85 seconds, and Brown rounded out the top three.
Still, after not making the final, Brown certainly has nothing to be ashamed about. As mentioned, coming into these world championships, he had made five of the past six finals at the world championships or the Olympics, just missing Daegu two years ago. He was fourth in Helsinki in 2005, fourth in Osaka in 2007, fourth in Beijing in 2008, fifth in Berlin in 2009, and fourth again in London, in 2012. He has easily been the most consistent quarter-miler, not just in The Bahamas, but worldwide over that past 12 years.