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Dent started his athletics career as a steeplechaser, and represented Australia in the 3000 metre steeplechase at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Some say he was unlucky to have been overlooked by selectors for both the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, having posted qualifying times in his pet event.
The 33-year-old public servant’s Olympic hopes are once again at the mercy of selectors, but this time in the marathon.
Dent ran the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan last December in 2 hours 12 minutes and 23 seconds, considerably faster than the A-qualifying time of 2 hours 15 minutes, but 23 seconds short of Athletics Australia’s criteria for automatic selection.
In a last attempt to guarantee his Olympic selection, the self-coached Dent ran the London Marathon last month, but again came up short.