Sport

Martin and Julian look to put a dent in each other's armour

Two stalwarts of Australian athletics will come together for the first time in more than 10 years when Martin and Julian Dent compete in Sprint Canberra.

An orienteering event that takes place over four days across Canberra, the event will provide an eagerly awaited sequel to their 2004-05 summer clashes in the Twilight Orienteering Series.

Martin Dent will return to orienteering over the weekend.
Martin Dent will return to orienteering over the weekend. Photo: Rohan Thomson

London Olympian Martin retired from professional competition in 2014 after the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. But Julian has continued to compete and, in Martin's opinion, remains the man to beat in Australian orienteering.

"He's probably Australia's best orienteer, so if I can get anywhere near Julian's time in the races I'll be very pleased with that," Martin said.

Although the two share the same name and were both raised on the Central Coast, they are unrelated. The irony is not lost on Martin, who is looking forward to racing against his old friend again.

"He used to train with us when he lived in Canberra a few years ago," Martin said. "He's a friend of mine. I wouldn't say we're competitive, I'd have him covered in the running but he's probably got me covered in the orienteering, so hopefully I can learn something from him."

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Julian has always specialised in orienteering and placed 10th at the 2014 World Orienteering Championships. He moved to Sweden from Canberra in 2012.

"I moved there [Stockholm] to be where all the racing is in orienteering, it's such a European-dominated sport," Julian said.

Julian disagreed with Martin's prediction of the outcome of their race, citing Martin's superior foot speed as a real threat.

"He's obviously a much quicker runner than I am," Julian said. "But navigation's a bit of fun for Marty, it's not his strong point. Sprinting will be interesting because he can still run pretty bloody fast as long as he knows where he's going."

The Sprint Canberra event begins on Saturday and continues until Australia Day.