Casuarina triathlete Paul Matthews said Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s performance in the Port Macquarie Ironman race at the weekend was inspirational.
Casuarina triathlete Paul Matthews said Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s performance in the Port Macquarie Ironman race at the weekend was inspirational. Crystal Spencer

Abbott impresses with triathlon

TONY Abbott has the respect of Casuarina triathlete Paul Matthews.

The Federal Opposition leader, who completed a gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run in less than 14 hours at the weekend, is leading by example according to Mr Matthews.

He said it was incredible for anyone with a full time job, let alone the possible future Prime Minister, to finish such a challenging competition.

“I think he’s a bit of an inspiration,” Mr Matthews said.

“To see a man with a full-time job complete this event is absolutely incredible, I know a few people who do it and it’s amazing. The training is a full-time job in itself.”

Mr Matthews is currently in training before flying out to his racing base in America in May.

The former Murwillumbah East and High School student said he currently completes 30km swimming, 100km run and a 600km cycle for training every week.

In comparison, Mr Abbott completed only 10 hours of training a week to prepare for the Port Macquarie Ironman race.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday attacked Mr Abbott over his heavy focus on exercise, asking how he could spend so much time ‘running, jumping and swimming’ when he should be shaping policies.



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