After being encouraged to get into Little Athletics by his dad, Rhydian Cowley started race walking when he was 8 and now 17 years on he will get the chance to represent his country at his debut Olympic Games in Rio.
Having been identified as a star of the future, he was inducted into the under 17 talent program and soon after competed at his first major international event when he raced in the 2008 World Walking Cup in Russia.
He made the Australian Team for the 2010 World Junior Championships and finished an impressive 17th. His senior World Championships debut came in 2013 where he claimed 50th.
With only the top three Australian’s qualifying for the 2015 World Championships, Cowley was the fourth fastest qualifier and missed out on competing in Beijing. Despite doing everything he could to make his second World Championships, the result made him hungrier to make his first Olympic Games.
As Rio approached, he made a strong case for Olympic selection when he set a new personal best time of 1:22.07 in February at the Oceania & Australian 20km Race Walking Championships. He went on to finish 39th in the 20km event at the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships to seal his Olympic debut.
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20km Walk Men
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
- Rio will be Olympic debut
- 39th (20km walk) – 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships (Rome, Italy)
- 17th (20km walk) - Asian Race Walking Championships (Nomi, Japan)
- 9th (20km walk) – 2016 Oceania & Australian 20km Race Walking Championship (Adelaide, Australia)
- 13th (20km walk) – 2015 Summer Universiade (Gwangju, Korea)
- 57th (20km walk) – 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup (Taicang, China)
- 2013 IAAF World Championships, Moscow, Russia - First major senior team.
- 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships, Moncton, Canada - Peak competition as a Junior athlete
- 2008 IAAF World Walking Cup, Cheboksary, Russia - First time overseas, first international competition.
- Rowville Primary (Vic, Aus); Syndal South Primary (Vic, Aus)
- Glen Waverley Secondary College (Vic, Aus); Melbourne High School (Vic, Aus)
- Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce, Deakin University (2009-2014
Simon Baker (2015-Present), Dave Smith (2010-2015), Ken Walters (2005-2010)
Glenhuntly Athletics Club, Melbourne, Victoria, AUstralia
Victorian Institute of Sport
Primary Training Base
- Favourite food
- Favourite holiday destination
- Favourite music
- Trip Hop and related genres
- Dream car
- Personal Motto
- No matter what happens, just keep walking
- Star Sign
- I would spend my last $10 on
- A money tree
- If I could try another Olympic sport it would be
- Nordic Skiing
- Most Inspiring Olympic Performance?
- Emil Zatopek's 5km-10km-Marathon triple gold in 1952 HelsinkiOlympics
- First Olympic Memory?
- Kieran Perkins 1500m Freestyle gold at 1996 Atlanta Olympics
- Most Influential person in your career/life
- Why this sport?
- Why not?