They call her ‘Magic’ and today Jordan Mercer showed why, with a dominant display in the open ironwoman final delivering one of the biggest wins of her fledgling career.
Mercer led a star-studded field from start to finish, to take out the event ahead of former national champions Kristyl Smith and Rebecca Creedy.
Mercer rated the win as one of her finest.
“It’s really fantastic, I’ve been waiting a very long time to get a win like this. I’ve had some seconds and thirds in the Ironwoman series which have been career highlights so far, and I was just searching for that big win and really trying to work out what was missing and what else I could possibly do,” she said.
“And this weekend I realised that it was all just a matter of me stepping back and racing and competing because I love it, and not because I’m out there itching to win and wanting to prove all my training. It was just a matter of making all the right decisions and racing in a totally different headspace and luckily it worked.
“Kristyl’s one of the strongest swimmers in Australia for the Ironwoman and that’s definitely my weakest leg so I was just trying as hard as I could to hold her off. She was tapping at my feet going around the back of the cans and it was rough coming in, but I held onto that body wave a little better and thankfully that was enough for me to stand up and get the sprint finish to win.
In the ironman final, it was Kurrawa’s Ky Hurst who showed his class and took out the event ahead of Luke Cuff and Matt Bevilacqua.
“I’m ecstatic – my whole goal for this weekend was to come down and make finals and I really didn’t know how I was going to go,” Hurst said after the win.
“To tell you the truth, it was a bit of shock to win. I’m not feeling that great, so to come away with the win is certainly huge for me and I just wish my little boy had hung around to watch!
While Hurst was overjoyed with the win, he freely admitted his sights were set firmly on adding another Australian ironman title to his name.
“I know Shannon’s on five and I’m on four so I can’t let him get too far away from me. It’s something that I certainly want. Whether I’m in the same form of when I did that four is very questionable. I’d like to think I will be but the reality is I don’t think I am.
“I just need a really good winter behind me and I’m really looking forward to next season. Throughout the series I said that I’d seen glimpses of how I used to feel in a race and that was really nice, so that’s certainly a confidence booster in itself and if I can get in there and put together an ironman like I used to it’d certainly be a bonus.
“I’ve got a whole week off now which is probably not the best preparation. I’m actually swimming from Bahrain to Iran – I’m helping a guy get across, I won’t be swimming the whole 35 kilometres, but I leave in a couple of days and don’t return until the weekend so it should be an interesting one,” Hurst said.
In other results, Zak Barwicki from Sunshine Coast SLSC took out the under-15 ironman final and became the second recipient of the Matthew Barclay memorial trophy. He was joined on the podium by fellow Sunshine Coasters Campbell Guthrie (Alexandra Headland) and Cooper Williams (Noosa Heads).
Kurrawa speedster Melissa Howard also claimed her own personal slice of history when she won the open female beach flags and, in doing so, claimed her 10th open individual Queensland championship.
Howard said she’ll be hoping to replicate the success when she heads to the Australian championships in Western Australia.
“It’s an awesome feeling to finally get that tenth state title – I’ll use it as a stepping stone for the Australian titles, and hopefully I can get my tenth title there as well,” she said.
“I felt quite comfortable out there today, but the competition’s always pretty fantastic in the flags. But hopefully I’ll be able to push a little bit harder for Aussies.
“I really, really want that tenth national title. We’ll ease off a little bit now, especially in the gym, and just try to maintain our fitness through to then. These next two weeks will be a big block and then we’ll start to slow down from there,” she said.
Note: Due to technical issues with the national results database, the overall winner of the Championships will be announced tomorrow. This technical issue has impacted sporting events in a number of states across Australia, and in New Zealand, this weekend.
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