Dane Bird-Smith walked his way onto the Rio team after taking out the 2016 Oceania & Australian 20km Race Walking Championships in Adelaide in February, 2016. He set a personal best time of 1:20.03 and will look to crack 80 minutes before Rio. He achieved this goal in May at the IAAF World Teams Walk in Rome when he placed fourth in the 20km walk in a PB of 79:38.
Competing on the same course as his father had 33 years prior, Bird-Smith made his senior Australian walking debut at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in 2013 finishing 11th. At the 2015 Worlds in Beijing he was 8th.
His passion for athletics started at an early age, with the 400m sprint being his favourite event. He won a national title with QLD in the U20 4x400m relay. He first tried race walking as a teenager and has never looked back.
He won the 2015 World University Games in Korea. He studied at the University of Queensland and became engaged to girlfriend Katy, in July 2015.
He is coached by his duel Olympian father, David Smith. Smith made his Olympic debut at the controversial 1980 Moscow Summer Games. He was disqualified in the 20km event and had to withdraw during the 50km event. His best Olympic result was finishing 10th at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Bird-Smith trains with his two Dogs Pina (Italian greyhound) and Rocky (Chihuahua).
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20km Walk Men
KIPPA-RING, QLD, Australia
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
- 2016 Rio will be Olympic debut
- 1st (20km walk) – 2016 Oceania & Australian Race Walking Championships (Adelaide, Australia)
- 1st (20km walk) – 2015 World University Games (Gwangju, Korea)
- 8th (20km walk) – 2015 IAAF World Championships (Beijing, China)
- 5th (20km walk) – 2015 IAAF Permit Race Walking Meeting (La Coruna, Spain)
- 14th (20km walk) – 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup (Taicang, China)
- 2015 World University Games Gold Medal in the Men's 20km
- Senior debut at the 2013 World Track and Field Champs Moscow. Finished 11th in the Men's 20km
- Beijing 2015 World Championship - 8th place Men's 20km
- Rainworth State School
- Saint Peters Lutheran College & Indooroopilly State High School
- Bachelor of Health Sport and Physical Education
Dave Smith 2008 onwards
Queensland Racewalking Club
Queensland Academy of Sport
Primary Training Base
St Lucia, Uni of QLD Track and surrounds
Secondary Training Base
Rainbow Beach for Intense training camps
- Favourite food
- Favourite holiday destination
- Anywhere with my friends
- Dream car
- Lotus Elise
- I would spend my last $10 on
- Shoe goo
- Most Inspiring Olympic Performance?
- Derek Redmond 1992 Barcelona 400m semi final. The most heroic performance I've ever seen
- Most Influential person in your career/life
- Why this sport?
- It was a challenge I accepted then grew to love