Victorian Institute of Sport

Dunkley-Smith World Record row

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Josh Dunkley-Smith has broken the 2000m indoor rowing World Record by setting a time of 5:35.8 seconds.

The 28-year-old edged out the previous record set by New Zealand’s Rob Waddell in both the 19-29 and 30-29 age categories.

“It was probably something that I have been working towards for a quite a while. It is one of those things that has always been there but never a main stated goal, as it’s always more about the racing on the water. However, seeing how long the records had stood for, and having the opportunity to go for it, I was glad I was able to do that before I take some time away,” said Dunkley-Smith.

Following breaking the World Record, Dunkley-Smith has decided to call time on pursuing selection for the Australian Rowing Team, turning his focus to his professional career and family life.

“As I have gotten older, other concerns grow and other aspects of life have to be considered alongside rowing. I know what is required to perform at the level I want to perform at, and achieve what I want to achieve, and I am now hesitant to put myself in a boat, when I know I may not be able to uphold my responsibilities, because my head and heart is focused elsewhere.

On a personal level, it has been challenging for me to be centralised in Canberra, but I think the environment itself is a good one. Spending time there, with the guys, I see that the group is really on the right track and they are set up to have some really good results, with or without me.

Rowing is a sport that takes you away from your friends and family, but that is the nature of elite sport and that can’t be changed – it’s not just about going interstate but also about going overseas for long periods of time to pursue your goals.

I am incredibly grateful for the support I have had as I have made this decision. I have obviously been talking a lot to Candice and my mum (Addy Bucek), both experienced athletes, and with Drew Ginn [three-time Olympic rowing gold medallist, and member of Dunkley-Smith’s silver medal-winning Men’s Four in 2012] and also former VIS Head Coach and now turned Performance Manager - Podium, Bill Tait.

I am very lucky to have so many people to turn to for advice, all of whom have been very supportive as I made this decision. In making this decision, I have realised how much people care for myself as an athlete and as a person.

I am also extremely grateful for the support that’s been offered to me by Rowing Australia.  I am unsure if I am going to retire, that is a big decision to make. Everyone has been encouraging and made it clear that I am always welcome if I do feel that I have made the wrong decision. I believe it’s now about stepping back and refocusing before making such a big decision.”

The Victorian Institute of Sport wish Josh the best of luck in the future.

Full story via Rowing Australia: https://www.rowingaustralia.com.au/2018/03/13/statement-on-behalf-of-joshua-dunkley-smith/

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

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