|Alex Rowe has his sights set on the 2016 Olympics - and a career in medicine|
The high achieving yet humble track star is the fastest man in Australia over 800 metres. Just over 12 months ago Alex ran 1 minute 44.4 seconds to equal the record of Olympic champion Ralph Doubell, which stood for 46 years.
The 23-year-old Melburnian, a gold and silver Australian National Track and Field Championships medallist, is no stranger to hard work – on or off the track.
In order to maintain his form with up to two hours of daily training – and keep up with his studies - Alex has mastered time management; rising earlier, running during lunch breaks and using afternoon time as efficiently as possible. Sometimes he runs in the company of his flat-mate, a VFL umpire, but often alone.
“I try to use the training as a release and a chance to take my mind off the study; it helps to clear my mind so I can go back to the study fresh,” said Alex.
Despite his best efforts, the study load coupled with training and racing demands, on home soil and overseas - made harder by the geographic separation from his coach Justin Rinaldi - have taken an inevitable toll.
Alex recently announced he was withdrawing from the IAAF World Championships in Beijing as he felt the study load was affecting his training.
“I wouldn’t have had it any other way this year though,” said Alex. “I am enjoying this course so much…but I have decided to defer next year so I can dedicate myself to training and competition.”
“It was a tough decision because I do love both, but when you think about the window of time available when it comes to elite sport, the decision becomes clearer.”
“I absolutely love it here and after running I would definitely consider coming back to a rural position because of the great lifestyle and how much I have enjoyed my time here,” said Alex. “But whilst I am running I need to have the support of the home environment and regular access to my coach.”
With youth on his side, Alex is optimistic his best performances are ahead of him.
“I just want to continue to push myself and see where I end up,” he said. “For me it is all based on the effort and the process, rather than the outcome…but if I keep doing the right things then there are things I would like to achieve, which would hopefully be an Olympic and World Championships final and getting that 800 metre record on my own.”