THEY were the "it" couple of the surf lifesaving world.
Beautiful and bronzed - Matt Poole and Candice Falzon were turning heads
wherever they went. They helped raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation together, became the face of swimwear brand Finz together.
But the long-distance relationship between the Mooloolaba boy and the Manly girl proved too much in the end.
The high-profile ironman and ironwoman split amicably in January, Matt told The Daily yesterday. "We've gone our separate ways," he said.
"It was amicable. We were close for a long time. We had a lot of great times. I helped her and she helped me. The biggest factor was the distance."
The pair first stepped out as an item at the 2011 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships.
Matt tweeted on January 8 that it was their two-year anniversary.
They now join the likes of sporting celebrities such as Stephanie Rice and Eamon Sullivan, who ended things to concentrate on their careers.
University of the Sunshine Coast senior lecturer in psychology Dr Geoff Lovell said the pressure on elite athletes was huge.
"I think in many ways it's the same for normal people in that the needs for relationships and sense of companionships are very similar," he said.
"When we interview elite performers on why they do their sport, one of the consistent answers we find is, 'I'm absolutely committed to it and nothing else matters'.
"While that's really useful at helping people achieve incredible results, obviously it's difficult for relationships because the most important thing in life is sports.
"When both parties are fully committed to their sport, it can make it very difficult."
Ms Falzon told the Daily she did not want to comment.
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