With the likes of Justin Gaitlin, Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman hogging the American century dash in the past few years, no one paid scant attention to Trayvon Brommel.
In fact, just three years ago, it seemed implausible that Trayvon Bromell would even challenge for a place at the 2020 Olympic Games. The 25-year-old Bromell thought his end had come when he left the Rio Olympics in a wheelchair after aggravating a heel injury.
He had the pedigree to challenge the best and until his unbeaten 2021 season, it was thought that his injuries had already paid put to his aspirations.
He was the first junior to break the 10-second barrier with a time of 9.97 seconds, the current junior world record. He was also the 2016 world indoor 60m champion.
But, no one would have expected his recovery and return to form and his qualification as the best American sprinter for the Tokyo Olympics.
Bromell won the 100m in 9.80 during Olympic Trials on Sunday in Eugene, Oregon where Lyles finished a distance seventh and an injured Gaitlin limped home last.
Earlier this month, Bromell set a personal best time in the 100m of 9.77 seconds that makes him the 7th fastest man of all time and the fastest over the distance this year.
What a turnaround it has been for the sprinter.
He has had two achilles surgeries over the past five years, and in a span of three-and-a-half years ran three races. He was effectively out of athletics. He credited religious faith for turning around his life, on and off the track.
“When I went down in 2016, I realised I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “In 2018, I wondered if I wanted to live anymore. What resource am I not going to for this change?
“My mom told me to try God. Since devoting myself, things have changed.”
In a high-quality final, the top four men finished inside 9.90, and 9.91 – recorded by teenager Micah Williams of host University of Oregon – was only sufficient for fifth place. It was the fastest first five in trials history.
Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley, the latter dropping down from the 400m, claimed the two other Olympic spots, finishing second and third respectively in 9.85 and 9.86. 200m specialist Kenny Bednarek was fourth in 9.89. World 200m champion Noah Lyles started poorly and was seventh in 10.05.
Following this victory and his world-leading 9.77 from earlier this month, Bromell will head to Tokyo as a gold-medal favourite.
“I feel with confidence sometimes comes complacency. And for me, I don’t like to get complacent,” he said. “For me, I’m still going to go home and train as if I’m not being talked about at all.”