Sport

Day happy to chase Eckstein in ironman series opener

NO COMPLAINTS: Mooloolaba’s Ali Day ensures he stays on this shore break during yesterday’s Nutri-Grain Ironman event at Scarborough Beach, Perth, yesterday.
NO COMPLAINTS: Mooloolaba’s Ali Day ensures he stays on this shore break during yesterday’s Nutri-Grain Ironman event at Scarborough Beach, Perth, yesterday. Delly Carr

MOOLOOLABA star Ali Day was left beaming after finishing a close second to his boyhood idol Shannon Eckstein at the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series opener at Perth.

In a confidence-boosting display, Day won the ski race and finished third in the swim and ironman events to finish two points behind the Northcliffe legend, Eckstein, overall.

Matt Poole was 10 points behind Day, his Mooloolaba teammate, in third at Scarborough Beach.

Poole won the afternoon's other event, the board race, and Day came seventh.

Day was leading going into the final event, the ironman, but finished third - and Eckstein again delivered, when it mattered, to take the win and the round.

Day - second overall last season and the bookmakers' second favourite for the series behind six-time champion Eckstein heading into round one - admitted to being "nervous but excited" before the event.

The 22-year-old said: "I suppose I'm lost for words, really. I didn't expect to do that well today … I pulled up really well and I can't wipe the smile off my face."

Day prefers the more endurance-based events, as evidenced by his debut Coolangatta Gold triumph in October.

He finished second behind Caine Eckstein, who is not competing this year, at Perth last season when it was an endurance event.

A new sprint accumulator-points format was unveiled yesterday as organisers attempted to make the event more watchable.

 

Day said the round was surprisingly demanding.

"On paper it looks like a short event, but it's a long day in the office," he said.

"There was four 15-min

ute races and a lot of rest between races. The longer it went, the better I got."

Despite the closeness of his tussle with Eckstein yesterday, Day said "probably not" when asked if he could get on top of the four-time world ironman champion this season.

CHASING his first Nutri-Grain race win, Day grew up idolising Eckstein.

He said: "Shannon did everything right today. I don't think I've ever really seen him make a mistake before.

"Everyone who saw him race today knows he is the man to beat … he's the ultimate ironman in our sport."

Day hopes to keep learning from Eckstein, a five-time national ironman champion, and one day get his measure.

"Like I said the other day, I'm not trying to push that (first win) and let it come when it comes," he said.

Overall results: 1. Shannon Eckstein; 2. Ali Day (Mooloolaba); 3. Matt Poole (Mooloolaba); 4. Thomas Trembath; 5. Ky Hurst; 6. Kendrick Louis (Mooloolaba); 7. Mitchell Miller; 8. Tom Atkinson; 9. Wade Krieger; 10. Corey Jones (Met Caloundra); 11. Hugh Dougherty; 12. Joshua Minogue; 13. Wes Berg; 14. Alex Tibbits (Mooloolaba); 15. Christopher Moors; 16. Jake Nicholson.

Topics:  ali day, ironman, shannon eckstein




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

How's this for a chilly start?

Frost Sunrise

Ipswich got off to a freezing start to the week

More than two home break-ins per day in Ipswich

A close-up showing number of break-ins at Collingwood Park.

Crims had a busy month in May across the Ipswich police district

Latest deals and offers

Mt Crosby Road and Warrego Upgrade

The Minister for Main Roads and Road Safety Mark Bailey with Member for Ipswich...

Woman cops $12,000 water bill

Bundamba resident Sherelle Taylor receiveda water bill for more than $12,000 after a leak was found in a pipe on her property.

Bundamba resident Sherelle Taylor received a water bill for more than $12,000 after...

Free mobile washing service for homeless

The Orange Sky laundry service offers free clothes and laundry services to those in need. QUU spokesperson Michelle Cull, resident Rickie Stuart and Orange Sky service rollout co-ordinator Alek Jacoby.

The OrangeSky mobile washing van sets up in Queens Park in Ipswich every Wednesday...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked