Open wa­ter champs as­sert su­pe­ri­or­ity

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

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The pair added the 5km na­tional ti­tles to Thurs­day’s wins over the Olympic dis­tance of 10km.

Hurst, a five-time Aus­tralian open surf race win­ner, rev­elled i n the choppy con­di­tions which made the back end of the races very dif­fi­cult for most of the com­peti­tors.

The 25-year-old, who will join Ian Thorpe’s form e r c o a c h T r a c e y Men­zies next year, took just over an hour to com­plete the course, beat­ing Bris­bane teenager David Browne by three sec­onds.

The re­sult meant Browne, 18, nar­rowly earned his place on the Aus­tralian team for next year’s world cham­pi­onships in Melbourne af­ter he edged out 25km world cham­pion and Home Hill prod­uct Josh San­taca­te­rina in a sprint for the lu­cra­tive sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing spot.

Al­though ev­ery other com­peti­tor in the event ad­mit­ted it was tough go­ing, Hurst re­vealed it was pos­si­bly the eas­i­est 5km swim of his ca­reer.

‘‘To be quite truth­ful it was re­ally easy, prob­a­bly the slow­est-paced race I’ve ever been in,’’ Hurst said. his credit, took it out in the first half of the race and it was prob­a­bly in­ex­pe­ri­ence on his part that cost him in the end.

‘‘No one else wanted to lead and at sev­eral times dur­ing the race both Hay­den and I re­sorted to swim­ming back­stroke.

‘‘I had plenty in re­serve for the sprint to the line.’’

Hurst will con­test the 10km and the 5km events at next year’s world cham­pi­onships over the same course in March.

Brookes-Peter­son won her sixth Aus­tralian open wa­ter ti­tle by a whop­ping 1 minute 46 sec­onds.

How­ever only two s e c o n d s s e p a r a t e d Canada’s Kar­ley Stutzel and Queens­land duo Trudee Hutchin­son and Alexandra Ba­gley for sec­ond, third and fourth in a photo fin­ish.

‘‘It was very rocky on the swim north but so easy on the way back with the wind be­hind you,’’ Brookes-Peter­son said.

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