Robert Hurley (swimmer)

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Robert Hurley
Personal information
Full name Robert Hurley
Nickname(s) Bobby
Nationality  Australia
Born (1988-09-26) 26 September 1988 (age 27)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 86 kg (190 lb)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle, Backstroke
Club Warringah Aquatic Swimming Club
Coach Tim Lane

Robert "Bobby" Hurley (born 26 September 1988 in Melbourne) is an Australian swimmer[1] and former World Record holder in the short-course (25 metre pool) 50 metres Backstroke and 2012 World Champion in the same event. In 2009 he won a bronze medal as a team member on the 4 × 200 m Freestyle relay at the FINA World Championships in Rome. He has five FINA World Championship medals to his name, two gold, one silver and two bronze.

Hurley is a sprint backstroke and middle and distance freestyle specialist and was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder 2007-2009.

Career[edit]

Background[edit]

Hurley is the youngest of three children born to an Australian father and Filipino mother. Born in Mornington, VIC, the family moved to Wollongong, NSW where Hurley spent his childhood attending high school at The Illawarra Grammar School.

A star swimmer in his younger years, Hurley struggled throughout his teenage years until finally winning his first Australian Age Championship medal at age 18. He was primarily a backstroke and butterfly sprinter until he had immediate success swimming his first 400m Freestyle race at age 18.

2007[edit]

At the 2007 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Maui, Hurley won 2 gold in the 4 × 100 m Freestyle Relay, 4 × 200 m Freestyle relay and 1 silver in the 200m Freestyle. He also placed 4th in the 100m Freestyle, 6th in the 50m Freestyle, and won the B Final of the 400m Freestyle.

2008[edit]

At the 2008 Olympic Trials in Sydney, Hurley had a few near misses at making his first Olympic Team. Hurley placed 3rd in the 400m Freestyle behind Grant Hackett and Craig Stevens, 4th in the 200m Backstroke, 5th in the 100m Backstroke, and 4th in the non-selection 50m Backstroke.

FINA World Championships (25m), Manchester[edit]

At the 2008 FINA World Championships (25m) in Manchester, England, Hurley competed in six events and picked up a Gold medal in the 4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay as a heat swimmer. He also placed 8th in the 100m Backstroke final, and was the youngest swimmer in the field.

2008 World Championships (25m)
Event Time Place
4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay (heat swimmer) 6:55.65 Gold
4 × 100 m Medley Relay (heat swimmer) 3:27.51 4th
100m Backstroke 51.19 8th
50m Backstroke 24.09 14th
200m Backstroke 1:54.31 12th
400m Freestyle 3:48.19 13th

At the 2008 Oceania Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, Hurley had a breakout meet. Here he won 8 medals, 6 gold (200m, 400m Freestyle, 50m, 100m, 200m Backstroke, 4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay) and 2 silver (4 × 100 m Freestyle Relay, 4 × 100 m Medley Relay), also placed 4th in the 100m Freestyle and broke 8 Championship Records.

At the 2008 Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Hurley showcased his dominance winning 6 medals, including 5 gold, and extended his range all the way to the 1500m Freestyle. He is the only person to win medals across every distance at an Australian Championships.

At the 2008 FINA World Cup (25m), Hurley shot to fame after breaking the short course World Record in the 50m Backstroke in his hometown of Sydney, Australia, in a time of 23.24. Hurley also broke the Australian Record in the 100m Backstroke at the Singapore stop of the World Cup in a time of 50.28, narrowly missing Ryan Lochte's World Record of 49.99. Hurley went on to compete at the Moscow, Stockholm and Berlin stops of the World Cup, winning 17 medals in total (5 Gold) and placed 4th in the overall standings with 85 points.

2009[edit]

At the 2009 Australian Championships in Sydney, Hurley won his first long course Australian title on the first day in the 400m Freestyle. His winning time of 3:46.64 moved him into fourth on the Australian All-Time Rankings only behind Olympic Greats Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Kieren Perkins. Hurley went on to have a successful championships, winning silver in the 1500m Freestyle, bronze in the 100m and 200m Backstrokes and 4th in the 200m Freestyle. This secured his selection onto the Australian Swimming Team for the 2009 FINA World Championships to be held in Rome later that year.

FINA World Championships, Rome[edit]

At the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, Hurley competed in 5 events and won a Bronze medal in the 4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay Final with teammates Kenrick Monk, Tommaso D'Orsogna and Patrick Murphy. Hurley swam the second leg in 1:46.47. The Australian quartet broke the Commonwealth and Australian Records in a time of 7:01.65, a record that still stands today. The race was won in World Record time by Team USA led by Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, closely followed by Russia. Hurley also very narrowly missed individual finals in the 400m (11th) and 800m Freestyle events (10th).

2009 World Championships
Event Time Place
4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay 7:05.56 Bronze
800m Freestyle 7:50.65 10th
400m Freestyle 3:46.01 11th
1500m Freestyle 15:14.75 14th
100m Backstroke 55.18 32nd

At the 2009 Australian Short Course Championships in Hobart, Hurley continued his short course dominance winning 5 medals, gold in the 50m, 100m Backstroke and 800m Freestyle, and bronze in the 200m and 400m Freestyle.

At the 2009 FINA World Cup (25m) Hurley won 4 medals across three stops. At the Stockholm stop of the World Cup, Hurley broke the Australian Record in the 100m Backstroke in a time of 50.19. At the Berlin stop, Hurley placed 3rd in the 400m Freestyle in a time of 3:38.35 which was the 3rd fastest time ever by an Australian. The race was won in World Record time by Germany's Paul Biedermann in 3:32.77. At the Singapore stop, Hurley defeated Olympic Champion Oussama Mellouli in the 1500m Freestyle in a time of 14:32.47, the third fastest time ever by an Australian.

2010[edit]

At the 2010 Australian Championships in Sydney, Hurley defended his 400m Freestyle title and added two more national championships in the 800m and 1500m Freestyle events. He came close to being just the sixth Australian to break the 15 minute barrier in the 1500m Freestyle, winning the event by 14 seconds in a time of 15:00.96. Hurley also placed sixth in the 200m Freestyle. This secured his selection onto the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific Championships teams.

At the 2010 Australian Short Course Championships in Brisbane, Hurley won two gold medals in the 400m and 1500m Freestyle events, taking his tally of National Titles to 14. Hurley declined selection for the FINA World Championships later that year.

At the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, California, Hurley finished 4th in the 800m Freestyle, 7th in the 400m Freestyle, and 10th in the 1500m Freestyle.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, Hurley suffered food poisoning the night before his race. He went on to swim the preliminaries of the 400m freestyle finishing 14th and missing the finals, after being seeded second coming into the Games. Tests later showed Hurley had glandular fever leading into the Games.

2011[edit]

At the 2011 Australian Championships in Sydney, Hurley placed 3rd in the 400m Freestyle and 2nd in the 800m Freestyle but was unable to gain selection onto the World Championships team.

At the 2011 Australian Short Course Championships in Adelaide, Hurley returned to form winning the 400m and 800m Freestyle events.

At the 2011 FINA World Cup, Hurley won 2 Gold medals, the 400m Freestyle at both the Beijing and Tokyo stops.

2012[edit]

At the 2012 Olympic Trials in Adelaide, Hurley finished 3rd in the 400m Freestyle for the second consecutive Olympic Trials, one spot short of Olympic selection. In the 200m Freestyle, where top 6 are selected for the 4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay, Hurley finished a close 7th. Hurley also finished 6th in the 1500m Freestyle.

At the 2012 Australian Short Course Championships in Perth, Hurley returned to his sprint Backstroke events after a two year layoff, winning the 50m and 100m Backstroke events, and placing second in the 200m Freestyle, securing his spot on the National Team to compete at the 2012 FINA World Championships (25m) in Istanbul later that year.

At the 2012 FINA World Cup, Hurley competed on the whole tour for the first time in his career. He won 23 medals (5 Gold) and broke the Australian Record in the 100m Backstroke (50.18) for the third time in his career. Hurley finished 6th on the overall point score with 57 points.

FINA World Championships (25m), Istanbul[edit]

At the 2012 FINA World Championships (25m) in Istanbul, Turkey, Hurley had another breakout performance winning Gold in the 50m Backstroke. He broke his own Australian Record in the semi final (23.14), then re-breaking it to win the final in 23.04 and defeat Olympic Champion Matt Grevers from the USA, and defending champion Stanislav Donets of Russia. This record stood for 3 years before recently being broken by Mitch Larkin. Hurley also won Silver in the 4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay in Australian Record time, and Bronze in the 4 × 100 m Medley Relay, as well as finishing 5th in the 100m Backstroke.

2012 World Championships (25m)
Event Time Place
50m Backstroke 23.04 AR Gold
4 × 200 m Freestyle Relay 6:52.29 AR Silver
4 × 100 m Medley Relay 3:24.77 Bronze
100m Backstroke 50.63 5th

2013[edit]

At the 2013 Australian Championships in Adelaide, Hurley placed 4th in the 50m and 100m Backstroke.

At the 2013 Australian Short Course Championships in Sydney, Hurley won 3 gold medals in the 50m, 100m Backstroke and 200m Freestyle, and bronze in the 100m Freestyle. These 3 gold medals took Hurley's tally to 21 National Titles.

At the 2013 FINA World Cup, Hurley had his best tour to date, winning 34 medals (15 Gold) across 8 competitions, and placed 3rd on the overall point score with 285 points. Along with Christian Sprenger, Cate Campbell and Alicia Coutts, Hurley broke the World Record in the 4x50m Mixed Medley Relay three times, swimming the Backstroke leg each time. He also broke his own Australian Record twice in the 100m Backstroke, swimming 50.01 seconds at the Berlin stop, before being the first Australian to break to 50 second barrier, swimming 49.92 at the Tokyo stop of the World Cup. Hurley has now broken the Australian Record in the event five times. This was also a Commonwealth Record.

2014[edit]

At the 2014 Australian Championships in Brisbane, Hurley picked up a Silver medal in the 50m Backstroke, and also placed 5th in the 100m Backstroke and 8th in the 200m Backstroke. Hurley had to overcome chronic elbow pain and numerous cortisone injections just to be able to compete.

Shortly after the national championships, MRI scans revealed Hurley has osteoarthritis in both elbows. In May 2014, Hurley under went stem cell therapy and took 3 months out of the pool.

At the 2014 FINA World Cup returning from injury, Hurley picked up 5 medals in the 50m and 100m Backstroke events at the Doha, Dubai and Moscow stops of the tour.

At the 2014 Australia Short Course Championships in Adelaide, Hurley picked up 2 silver medals in the 50m and 100m Backstroke events behind Mitch Larkin. He also placed 4th in the 400m Freestyle and 5th in the 200m Freestyle, but declined selection for the FINA World Championships.

2015[edit]

At the 2015 Australian Championships in Sydney, Hurley placed 2nd in the 50m Backstroke, 4th in the 200m Backstroke, and 6th in the 100m Backstroke.

At the 2015 US National Championships in San Antonio, Texas, after spending the year training with Club Wolverine in Michigan, Hurley placed 8th in the 400m Freestyle and 21st in the 200m Freestyle.

2016[edit]

At the 2016 Australian Olympic Trials in Adelaide, Hurley placed 6th in the 100m Backstroke final and 2nd in the non-olympic 50m Backstroke final. Hurley was not selected on the Australian Olympic Team.

Career Best Times[edit]

Long Course[edit]

Event Time Meet Location Australian All-time Ranking
50m Backstroke 25.07 2016 Australian Olympic Trials AustraliaAdelaide 7th
100m Backstroke 54.02 2013 Australian Championships AustraliaAdelaide 7th
200m Backstroke 1:59.33 2015 Australian Championships AustraliaSydney
100m Freestyle 50.30 2013 Australian Championships AustraliaAdelaide
200m Freetsyle 1:48.17 2009 Australian Championships AustraliaSydney
400m Freestyle 3:46.01 2009 FINA World Championships ItalyRome 8th
800m Freestyle 7:50.65 2009 FINA World Championships ItalyRome 8th
1500m Freestyle 15:00.96 2010 Australian Championships AustraliaSydney 8th

Short Course[edit]

Event Time Meet Location Australian All-time Ranking
50m Backstroke 23:04 2012 FINA World Championships TurkeyIstanbul 2nd
100m Backstroke 49.92 2013 FINA World Cup JapanTokyo 2nd
200m Backstroke 1:52.29 2008 FINA World Cup GermanyBerlin 7th
100m Freestyle 47.74 2013 Australian Championships AustraliaSydney
200m Freestyle 1:43.12 2013 FINA World Cup JapanTokyo 8th
400m Freetsyle 3:38.35 2009 FINA World Cup GermanyBerlin 5th
800m Freestyle 7:46.52 2009 FINA World Cup SingaporeSingapore 7th
1500m Freestyle 14:32.47 2009 FINA World Cup SingaporeSingapore 4th

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Swimming – Robert Hurley". Australian Institute of Sport. Archived from the original on 23 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by

Thomas Rupprath
Men's 50 metre backstroke
world record holder (short course)

26 October 2008 – 12 November 2008
Succeeded by

Peter Marshall