Aussies: Finals action to see cream rise to the top

IT WAS the day that separated the contenders from the pretenders.

The champions stood up to be counted while some of the obvious challengers received a serious wake-up call.

While hot favourite Shannon Eckstein cruised to victory in his quarter-final of the open ironman at The Aussies yesterday, former Mooloolaba athlete Ali Day only just scraped through. The 2014/15 Ironman Series winner's campaign almost came to a shocking end, when he finished 10th in the second quarter-final.

But, as many athletes have said so many times this week, "that's surf", and Ali survived to fight another Day.

Ali Day in action.
Ali Day in action. harvpix.com

Matt Bevilacqua and Hayden White were successful in their heats.

In the open ironwoman, Jordan Mercer, Courntey Hancock, Maddy Dunn and Ella Brown all won their races in fine fashion to set up an exciting climax to the carnival this weekend.

Some athletes will be feeling the pressure - years and months of training are about to be put to the ultimate test.

But for seven-time open ironman winner Eckstein, he isn't feeling the external strain that comes with a favourite's tag.

He said he'll do what he does best this weekend in the hunt for an eighth title.



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