Hurst to trial for ironman

OLYMPIAN Ky Hurst and former Coolangatta Gold champion (2007) Rhys Drury spearhead an all-star line-up at the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman trial on Tugun beach this weekend.

Surf Life Saving Australia confirmed 130 entries for the trials, and with just 22 places (11 men and 11 women) and four selectors’ wildcards (two and two) up for grabs in the $250,000 Series starting in Kurrawa on January 16.

The competition promises to be fierce.

Those who come out on top will join the 12 (six and six) qualifiers from last year’s series, while the final four positions – that make up the 20-strong final fields – will be decided in special trials before the first, third and final rounds.

Hurst, 29, swam for Australia in the 10km open-water event at last year’s Beijing Olympics and is a four-time Australian Ironman champion who was unbeaten between 1999 and 2002.

He is also the reigning Australian open surf race champion – an event he has won a record six times – and is now under the coaching guidance of another great Ironman, Phil Clayton.

“I am feeling good in training, and after discussing it with my club Kurrawa, I decided to come back and give the trial another crack,” Hurst said. “It is three years until the next Olympics in London, so it fits perfectly into the cycle.

“It should be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it.”

While Hurst is always in the mix, Drury is the big surprise.

Having come out of retirement to win the 2007 Gold before going back into semi-retirement.

But always the athlete, Drury has maintained a healthy lifestyle and the veteran hinted at causing a bit of a stir.

“I’ve been doing all the training, so I thought what the heck,” he said,

“I’ll go and keep the young blokes honest.”

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