Hurst a man of iron

By MITCHELL DALE

FOUR-TIME Australian ironman champion Ky Hurst is ready to launch an all-out assault on this summer's $300,000 Nutri-Grain ironman series after dominating the Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) shootout on Park Beach over the weekend.

In near perfect conditions, Hurst won the Nutri-Grain trial to comfortably qualify for this summer's series, which kicks off at Kurrawa on December 12.

"I was pretty nervous before the first race, but once that was out of the way I settled down," he said.

"I guess it was just the uncertainty because it had been so long since I last competed."

While the 23-year-old was surprised at how well he performed, he realised the Nutri-Grain series would be 'a whole new ball game'.

However, he can rule out spending the next few weeks training to refine his technique.

Hurst leaves for Brazil this week to compete in the $US60,000 Red Bull Challenge, a four-man relay event consisting swim, mountain bike, hand gliding and running legs.

"I won't have the best preparation for the first round of the series, but hopefully I can get through that alright and then spend some more time on the equipment before the second and third rounds," Hurst said.

Cronulla's Nathan Smith, fresh from his triumph at the World Championships in Italy, confirmed his status as the dark horse for this season, while Avoca's Daniel Shade also showed his class, finishing second. The ironwoman event was won by Northcliffe's Britt Collie.



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