Rohan Browning’s start in sport came through soccer, before switching to rugby and athletics at the age of 13. Born on 31 December, he was a late developer compared to his rivals.
“As everyone grew up I found it more difficult to compete physically. I played representative footy with Southern Districts for a few years, but nothing higher than that. I did a year in little athletics at Illawong when I was about 12, but I was never really interested in training for athletics until about year nine when I moved to Trinity Grammar, and I started doing two-to-three sessions a week. Now my training load is about five or six sessions a week.”
The improvement started to happen in 2014, when he was 16. In March, he was run out of the Australian Junior Athletics Championships in the heats, but after a winter of weights and some specific sprint work, in September, his PBs dropped to 10.90 (100m), 22.11 (200m) and 49.97 (400m).
His progression had set up a great race with rival, Jack Hale at the 2015 Australian All Schools Championships. The pre-race hype was justified when Hale ran a wind-assisted 10.13 (+3.4 m/s), to edge Rohan Browning 10.18.
He continued to trim his PBs over the next couple of years, but there were periods of frustration with injury, including missing the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships. During the summer of 2016/17, there were personal bests across all his events, 10.44, 20.95 and even over 400m 47.71. In June 2017, he again set a PB over 100m with 10.40 ensuring he travelled to London for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in top form. At the championships, he anchored the Australian 4x100m relay team to seventh in the heat, as they clocked a time of 38.88 – the fastest by the national team for four years. Two weeks later, he competed at the World University Games in Tapei, where he ran 10.60 in his 100m heat.
Putting all his injury woes behind him, his 2017/18 domestic season was momentous. In December he opened with a stunning 20.54w 200m and two weeks later smashed his 100m best clocking 10.19, defeating all contenders. There were more quick times in Canberra in January including two 200m PBs. He ran times of 10.25, 10.31, 10.23, 20.94 and 20.71.
At the Australian championships in February he won his heat in 10.32, semi 10.27 and in the final placed second in 10.20, behind Trae Williams and was later named in the Australian team for the Commonwealth Games in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay.
In high school, Rohan was interested in debating and public speaking. In year nine he won a United Nations Youth Association public speaking competition and travelled to the Middle East with the UN Youth as part of a cultural tour. “It opened my eyes to the immense beauty of the most misunderstood part of the world.”