Charlie Hunter missed out in his 800m heat and veteran Jeff Riseley ran well to finish fifth in 1:47:17 in an eventful race in which American Isaiah Jewett and the London silver medallist Nijel Amos both fell.
A natural showman, Bol was so overwhelmed with his national record in the heat that he considered shutting down his social media so he could concentrate, but then figured the better of it.
“I’m like, wait, I’m not like that. I got to keep the same thing that I keep doing. I love creating noise, I love creating the hype and I tend to do very well not believing in staying humble and I do perfectly fine,” he laughed.
Browning in contrast was left disappointed by his run in the semi-final.
“I’m disappointed, I thought I had a better run in me than 10.09s but I gave the field too much ground and you can’t do that in the semi-finals of an Olympic Games,” Browning said.
“That’s championship racing: sometimes you nail it, sometimes you don’t; the smallest margins matter. Just got to be better than that.
“I definitely go into these championships believing I belong at this level and the times out there today, that third semi-final were just absurd, so high-quality.”
Browning said he was happy to be consistently running 10 seconds flat but knew that now to break through to the next level he has to be regularly breaking 10 seconds.
“I’ve been knocking on the door of sub-10, a big breakthrough. Hopefully, it comes later in the year in Europe. I’ll definitely walk away from this experience with a lot learned,” he said.
“People were saying Tokyo was going to be a soft Olympics, it definitely hasn’t been that — the heats were the fastest ever. There are bits and pieces I have got to play with that are positive and bits I have got to work on —that is part of the learning experience.”
Living in the Athlete’s village, Browning has yet to fully appreciate the way his heat performance had resonated with people in Australia and around the world.
“It’s been nice to get all the support from everybody, it has been very genuine. I’m sorry I couldn’t get it done today. Thanks to everyone for their support.
“It is a pretty bubble experience in the village and at the end of the day I was probably never going to be happy unless I walked away having won every race that I had been in, whether that is a reasonable expectation or not that is what I expected of myself.”
There are no easy Olympic 100m semi-finals so to rank them can be disingenuous. But Browning had Treyvon Bromell, the American runner who had the quickest time this year but ran badly in the heats, in his semi-final.
There were five men in his semi who all had sub-10s personal bests, but only two of them had done that this season, and none of them had been quicker than Browning in the heats.
Sprint hurlder Liz Clay was left frustrated after multiple delays to the start of her race when she still ran a personal best of 12.71s but was unable to make the final.
Later Jasmine Camacho-Quinn from Puerto Rico broke Sally Pearson’s 100m hurdles record with her time of 12.26s.
The Tokyo Olympics posed the question of who comes after Usain Bolt. The answer might be the previously unheralded Jacobs, but we will not know if he is Bolt’s real successor just yet.