Bromell hopes perseverance pays off in gold at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Trayvon Bromell – The man to beat in the 100m sprint

Trayvon Bromell

It’s been a long journey back to the Olympics for Trayvon Bromell, one that almost didn’t happen.

Indeed, the 26-year-old native of St. Petersburg, Fla., had considered retirement since the Rio games in 2016, and it was issues with his left heel that were the reason why.

Painful bone spurs first reared their head that summer five years ago, and then he crumpled to the ground in the 4x100m relay at Rio and had to be helped off by wheelchair. The diagnosis was every sprinter’s nightmare: a torn Achilles.

Two surgeries followed, as did many hours of rehab, and Bromell wound up missing all or most of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. He feared his career was over and discouragement set in.

But a funny thing happened on the way to retirement. In 2020, Bromell got healthy, hired a new coach and began training again. And on July 4 he had his own Independence Day celebration by running his best time in the 100m in five years, 10.04 seconds – not elite but certainly one that said he was close. Those were followed a month later by two more personal bests of 9.90 and 9.87 seconds at various competitions. The comeback was on.

Fast forward to 2021 and Bromell set a world record in the 100m with a time of 9.77 at the NACAC New Life Invitational in Florida in June. Now, the man who two years ago was ready to give up the sport entirely finds himself as the unlikely favorite in the 100m sprint in Tokyo.

Viewers can watch Bromell go for gold in the men’s 100m sprint at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Sunday, Aug. 1, on NBC and Peacock.

Player Profile

Full name: Trayvon Jaquez Bromell

Birth date: July 10, 1995

Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Fla.

Alma mater: Baylor University

Family ties: Hails from a family of athletes. Father Cashmere Bromell played football in the CFL; mother Shri Sanders was a high school sprinter

Honors and achievements: Has gold medals in the 4x100m relay at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships and the 2014 World Junior Championships and in the 60m sprint at the 2016 World Indoor Championships; won bronze at the 2015 World Championships

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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