In a blow to the Australian team Julian Dent has been forced to withdraw from the World Orienteering Champs (WOC) in Denmark in August. Julian was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the upper tibia in late March. He had hoped to return to training in time to prepare for WOC but an MRI-scan showed the fracture was more serious then first thought and it will now be a further six weeks before he can run.
After a spectacular debut in Japan in 2005 where he was 22nd in the middle distance race, his hopes were high for 2006. Chosen to run both the sprint and middle distance races, Julian was also in the frame to form part of a strong relay team with David Shepherd and either Troy De Haas or Rob Walter. Unable to run at the Easter 3-Days his selection was based on his efforts last year and his early season form which saw him win two out of the three opening rounds of the National League, only beaten by Swiss international David Schneider in the other.
He was intially still optimistic that his form would be good come August, “Even though I was unable to race in Victoria I knew that I would have enough time to train well and be peaking come WOC. Unfortunately an extra six weeks puts that in jeopardy so the best thing to do was to withdraw so that maybe someone can take my places in the races”.
Julian is only 20 (21 next Thursday 19th May), and has many years of competing at the top level ahead of him and remains positive and focused for the future. “At my age managing injuries is the biggest priority and I’m focused on getting back for the Australian Championships in Perth and helping the NSW Ultimax Stingers win the National League title. Beyond that, Ukraine 2007 is the next big goal”.
His recovery will include cycling on a windtrainer at home before progressing to road cycling, strength and conditioning work at the ACT Academy of Sport gym, and pool running. “Pool running is painfully boring but at least I’ve got Tommy to keep me company”, Dent joked in reference to fellow injured elite Tom Quayle. His injury will also give him some more time to focus on helping organise JWOC 2007 where Julian will be setting the long distance courses.
The Australian Orienteering community wishes Julian a speedy recovery and looks forward to seeing him back in the bush in the near future.