Hurley Deals With Rare Nerve Issue While Kicking To 50 Back Bronze


The timed final of the men’s 50m backstroke took place during day one’s morning session of the 2016 Australian Short Course Championships. Anyone in attendance saw a rather peculiar racing tactic towards the middle of the pool, as Bobby Hurley took what looks like a total of 3 strokes over the course of the race, opting to streamline dolphin kick on his back for the majority of the contest. Check out the race video courtesy of Hurley’s Instagram account.

The strategy paid off in the form of 28-year-old Hurley clinching the bronze in a time of 24.31, finishing behind Mitch Larkin and Cameron McEvoy who earned the gold and silver, respectively. So, what’s up with all that kicking? Hurley told SwimSwam it was a result of his having  been suffering a shoulder problem since the Singapore stop of the World Cup Series.

“I only raced one day there and was well below my normal times. I went to Tokyo but it hadn’t gotten any better. I had lost a lot of strength in my right arm. Had to withdraw from the rest of the world Cup and return home for treatment in time for nationals.”

After two MRIs and consultations with shoulder surgeons and neurologists, the Warringah Aquatic Swim Club athlete says he was diagnosed with  brachial neuritis, an infection in the suprascapular nerve that runs from neck to shoulder.

Says Hurley of how it impact his competition in Brisbane, “I wasn’t originally going to race the 50 here and just save everything I have for the 100 Back (today) but with my coach Tim Lane we thought why not just do it kick?!”

The infection is quite rare and quite serious according to Hurley, who has been told doctors ‘don’t know how one contracts the infection.’ He says the only treatment is rest, but Hurley says he is ‘trying to stay positive and do his best to qualify again for the Australian team.’

Hurley will be putting his neuritis to the test this morning in Brisbane, as the former Club Wolverine Elite-trained swimmer will take to the pool in the men’s 100m backstroke on the final prelims session of racing, an event in which he’s entered as the number two seed.

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3 years ago

Go Blue!! A great swimmer and an even better guy.

Blue Boy
3 years ago

Well Done Bobby!

3 years ago

That is really impressive.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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