Elite Australian swimmer Bobby Hurley has announced his retirement from competition at the age of 29. His stellar career includes 6 World Championships medals, including a 50m backstroke world title at the 2012 short course edition of the competition in Istanbul.
“Today I announce my retirement from professional swimming. It has been a honour to represent Australia for the past 12 years, over four World Championships, a Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacs and 40+ World Cup events, I achieved some incredible highs, but didn’t quite achieve it all,” wrote Hurley on his Instagram page this week.
To my friends, family and followers, Today I announce my retirement from professional swimming. It has been a honour to represent Australia for the past 12 years, over four World Championships, a Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacs and 40+ World Cup events, I achieved some incredible highs, but didn't quite achieve it all. . To travel the world and RACE, was always my childhood dream. I followed opportunities others wouldn't have, and my time spent in the USA and South Africa are among many highlights of my career. . I couldn't have done it without my parents and family who have been there since my first race, and have been a never ending pillar of support, and my long time sponsors @aquashopswim and @tyrsport . My journey though swimming doesn't stop, as I embark officially on my coaching career, as Head Coach of @aquabliss_swimming Normanhurst in Sydney, where I intend to bring the same passion and enthusiasm I had as a swimmer, each and every day. Thankyou to everyone around the world who has had an influence on my journey, you won't be forgotten and hope to see you again. Bobby
Hurley’s early career ranged from racing his way to a short course world record in the men’s 50m backstroke back in 2008, to winning a bronze medal as part of the Australian men’s 4x200m relay at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome, to becoming short course World Champion in the 50m backstroke in 2012.
However, the past Australian national champion was plagued with injuries in the final years of his career. Worn-out cartilage and arthritic conditions afflicted both his elbows, which led Hurley to seek Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, never able to truly get back to pre-injury form. He most recently finished 11th at the 2018 Australian Commonwealth Trials.
In addition to training under Mike Bottom as part of Club Wolverine Elite in Ann Arbor, Hurley also worked recently under Tim Lane at Warringah, the same man who holds Korean Olympian Park Tae Hwan in his stable.
Hurley engaged in a high-profile coaching job himself, in the role of ‘Performance Manager’ for South African Olympian Chad Le Clos last year. The Aussie, along with Andrea Di Nino, the head of the European-based ADN project, trained Le Clos in tandem, with Di Nino designing the training plan, with Hurley carrying them out on-deck with running the day-to-day workouts.
For 2018, however, Hurley will be moving into the role of Head Coach of Aqua Bliss Swimming, a club based in Normanhurst, New South Wales. As Head Coach, Hurley says he “intends to bring the same passion and enthusiasm I had as a swimmer, each and every day.”