Rainbow Beach training ground brings Commonwealth Gold for Dane Bird-Smith

Commonwealth gold medal winner, Dane Bird-Smith training on our beach - 2013

Commonwealth gold medal winner, Dane Bird-Smith training on our beach – 2013

Dane Bird-Smith won gold for Australia in the 20km walk on the opening day of athletics at last month’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

In the weeks leading up to the Games, Dane Bird-Smith trained in Rainbow Beach with his father and coach, Dave Smith (a dual Olympian walker) and his two dogs, Pina (Italian greyhound) and Rocky (Chihuahua).

Dane said, “I really enjoy training in Rainbow Beach as it offers isolation from everyday demands and the environment is conducive for good training with the road, bush trails, beach and Rainbow Sports Centre Gym completing my needs to focus totally on my preparation.

“I’ve have been coming back to Rainbow Beach for six years and I am not likely to change training in this wonderful place any time soon!”

The 25-year-old finished four seconds ahead of England’s Tom Bosworth on the Currumbin course in a Games record time of one hour, 19 minutes and 34 seconds.

Bird-Smith won a bronze medal in the 20km walk at the 2016 Rio Olympics, so he was always among Australia’s key medal hopes and he was clearly overcome with joy to win gold for Australia.

“Tom and I slugged it out, shoulder to shoulder for much of the race, but in the final few hundred metres, I was able to make a break for it,” Dane said.

Last year, Dane married long-time partner Katy. He studies at the University of Queensland and is currently completing a Bachelor of Health Sport and Physical Education.

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