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Dubler to fly Aussie flag in Oly decathlon

AAP logoAAP 29/07/2016 John Salvado

Cedric Dubler was the boy who would try anything who became the athlete who has to be very good at everything.

Having smashed his personal best with a score of 8114 points at the Olympic trials in early April, Dubler will head to Rio as the first Australian to contest an Olympic decathlon in 16 years.

The Queenslander recalls the day back in November 2010 when he smashed through the 6000-point barrier for the first time as a 15-year-old, prompting his coach to declare that the multi-discipline event was where Dubler would make his mark.

They proved to be prophetic words.

Like many talented young athletes, Dubler had tried his hand at a variety of games including soccer, basketball and volleyball, along with any number of events on the track and field program.

That versatility even extended far beyond the traditional sporting pursuits.

"I was that kid always on the road riding bikes, skateboards and scooters, even a unicycle," Dubler said.

"I always knew I wanted to do something with sport, I just didn't know what that was."

Dubler convinced his father to buy him a unicycle after seeing one for the first time at a circus.

"Dad thought it was ridiculous but he still got me one and I spent every afternoon for the next month starting at this tree in my backyard trying to learn how to ride this unicycle," he said.

"I eventually learnt how to ride it and I still have it at my house.

"It was different and I have always liked to do things differently."

It's far from the only piece of equipment lying around the home Dubler now shares with a couple of other multi-event athletes.

There are a heap of bicycles, kayaks and surfboards, an electric skateboard and even a drone which Dubler recently crashed into QEII Stadium in Brisbane.

But the focus right now is firmly on making his mark in Rio in the most demanding event on the track and field schedule.

Dubler's PB sees him placed 22nd on the 2016 world rankings headed by US superstar Ashton Eaton, the reigning Olympic and world champion.

The Australian reckons there is plenty of scope for him to lift his PB in Rio.

Dubler, 21, has improved significantly in the 400m and 1500m in the past four months.

The long jump and high jump have got better too, as have his throws.

"I try and dedicate my time to where I can make the most improvements - not necessarily taking an event from bad to average or average to great," he said.

"It's more `if I spend an hour on one event, am I going to make a progression?' rather than an hour trying to make a tiny adjustment in one of my stronger events which won't actually get me that many points."

That's the plan anyway, although Dubler is well aware that anything can happen in the heat of competition in Rio, with 10 disciplines spread over two gruelling days.

"For me, the decathlon is the ultimate challenge," he said.

"It's that event that can't be mastered.

"Your body goes through everything.

"About eight events in all you want to do is go to sleep but you still have to try and get pumped and attempt to pole vault and fling yourself five metres in the air."

AUSTRALIAN ALL-TIME DECATHLON RANKINGS:

1. Jagan Hames, Sept 18, 1998 - 8490 points

2. Scott Ferrier, Sept 18, 1998 - 8307

3. Cedric Dubler, April 1, 2016 - 8114

4. Peter Winter, March 10, 1996 - 8084

5. Simon Shirley, Sept 29, 1988 - 8036

6. Jason Dudley, March 20, 2006 - 8001

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