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The Josh Dunkley- Smith Guide to Pulling a 5:35.8 2k

The Australian Olympic silver medallist on breaking the Concept2 world record

The 2k erg. The gold standard. The universal measure by which rowers of any level gauge their physical and mental mettle. Do enough of them and you will soon find certain numbers manifesting themselves into mental brick walls. Remember when ‘breaking’ seven minutes was all you ever wanted? What about the six minute ‘barrier’? That hallowed ground reserved for only the bravest few; the land of Olympians and erg monsters. The world’s very best might tickle the low 5.40s.

And then there is Josh Dunkley-Smith. The mild mannered 6’3 Australian who, in March this year, held a 1:23.9 average split to complete 2k in 5:35.8 seconds. A performance that finally broke the world record that had stood untouched for ten years and placed a gulf between him and the rest of the rowing world. To highlight just how extraordinarily fast his time was, only five men in the world have ever seen a score below 5:40. In fact, after Rob Waddell set the previous record in 2008, nobody posted a single sub 5:40 time, anywhere, for the next seven years. Big Canadian Colin Mc- Cabe broke the drought with a 5:39.4 in 2015.

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About Row360

Welcome to Row360, the world’s only global, independent rowing magazine. Row360 brings you features from around the world, profiling the best athletes, coaches, and others from the whole rowing community – Olympic, adaptive, college, club, ocean, and more.