Is Rohan Browning Next?

After watching Sydneysider Rohan Browning become the second Australian man to break the 10-second barrier (all conditions) last weekend, the social media response was phenomenal. Scattered amongst many a comment, tweet or eventual trackside chat – the sprints fraternity repeatedly mentioned that whilst Browning’s 9.96sec run had a +3.3m/s tailwind – “you still have to move your legs that fast”.

This comment can be roughly translated to: “I think Rohan’s windy run will impart physical and neural training and race situational adaptations that are difficult to recreate in a training environment”. Still, the sprint adage bugged me – did the popular saying ring true amongst the world’s very best sprinters?

I went down the Tilastopaja rabbit hole as the famed athletics statistical website provided much data to work with. I quickly reacquainted myself with global sprinting’s favourite tracks – Lausanne, Port of Spain, Montreuil, Montverde (FL) and Hayward Field (OR).

Table of Analysis: Click Here.

Taking a particular interest in those men who had first broken the 10-second barrier ‘windy’, followed by a legal sub-10 second run, of the sub-10 second 100m population – 40.97% did so with a tailwind first. Of that group, most specific to our Australian crop of Under 24’s – Rohan Browning (10.08), Jack Hale (10.12), Jake Doran (10.15), Chris Ius (10.24) and Matthew Rizzo (10.34) – the ‘windy sub before legal sub’ group was comprised of predominantly Under 24’s (76.27%).

The graphics below provide essential context for Browning’s first entry into the ‘windy sub’ group, with the earnest hope another Australian may join him shortly.

Round 3 of High-Velocity Club takes place at Knox Athletics Track from 2pm onwards, with a series of fascinating races.
The big names aren’t just on the track. Running alongside HVC, this weekend sees a stacked AV Throwers Meet start list including Kim Mulhall, Damien Birkenhead, and Todd Hodgetts.

Start List: https://athsvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/hvc3-track-finish-line-sheets.pdf

Timetable: https://athsvic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/hvc3-session-report.pdf

The sprints fraternity have supported HVC with great gusto this season, with record numbers at each meeting. The strength of fields on Saturday reflects the event’s popularity, with Australia’s very best lining up.

The Men’s A 100m race has the makings of an early-season heat-check, with Jack Hale (10.12sec), Tom Gamble (QLD, 10.28sec), Jake Penny (10.36sec), Jacob Despard (10.40sec), Dhruv Rodrigues Chico (10.47sec) and 400m specialist Ross Hyne (10.89sec) in encouraging form.

The Women’s A 100m race will showcase Australian representative Maddie Coates (11.52sec), facing off against Sophia Fighera (11.69sec).

The Men’s and Women’s 200m races will see Coates and Fighera double up, with Rodrigues Chico and Despard following suit. The Women’s 200m will see a return of Australian representative Nana Adoma Owusu-Afriyie (23.28sec).

Topping off a wonderful afternoon at Knox, respective 400m fields provide competitive match-up’s. Ross Hyne (46.82sec) will back up from his 100m exploits, taking on Luke Stevens (46.05sec), Gus Simpfendorfer (48.51sec) and Marcus Guglielmino (48.98sec). The women’s race pits championship experience against youthful exuberance as Kendra Hubbard (53.44sec) and Alexia Loizou (54.69sec) find themselves up against Shahd Mohamed (54.98sec) and 2:05.75 800m talent Claudia Hollingsworth (55.84sec).

– Sean Whipp – @seanwhipp