Courtney Hancock
Courtney Hancock

'I'm doing it for my sister', says Ironwoman

IRONWOMAN star Courtney Hancock has admitted she will be “doing it for Bonnie” when she lines up in Sunday's nib Coolangatta Gold on the Gold Coast.

The former Sawtell champion will be lining up for her second attempt in Australia's iconic test of the toughest but will be missing her little sister Bonnie.

The reigning Australian under 19 ironwoman champion was injured in a freak accident while training at Northcliffe last month forcing her out of this year's big race.

Courtney said she would be racing for both herself and her sister throughout the 30 kilometre journey from Surfers Paradise to Currumbin and back.

Bonnie suffered a serious back injury which has forced her out of Sunday's race but she will make a full recovery and hopefully return to the Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Series in 2009.

Courtney was on hand with the stars of the event at the carbo-loading luncheon at Currumbin this week.

She said: “I'm ready for the big race and I'm ready to do it for Bonnie, too.

“It certainly scared all of us when we saw Bonnie screaming in agony but we're relieved now that she is going to be OK.

“It's going to be a hard slog so I'm looking forward to my second attempt at this great race.

“My training has been going really well thanks to former Australian Ironwoman champion Kristyl Smith who has been a huge help to me.”

Hancock will have to contend with two-time winner and pre-race favourite Hayley Bateup if she intends holding up the coveted nib Coolangatta Gold Trophy.

Meanwhile, veteran ironman Dean Mercer admitted he would 'find an excuse to keep coming back' even if he does win Sunday's nib Coolangatta Gold.

Mercer, 38, the elder statesman of Australian ironman racing will line up in his fifth Gold assault hoping to keep a host of youngsters at bay.

He will have to contend with a host of young blood led by 2005 champion Caine Eckstein, 2006 runner up Nathan Smith and Gold Coast pair Hugh Dougherty and Luke Nisbet amongst others.

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