Ali Day impersonates Usain Bolt
IT may have taken his "best imitation of Usain Bolt" but Ali Day has sealed a third Queensland ironman crown to lay his claim for a maiden Australian title.
Day won a sprint to the line to beat Matt Poole, Caine Eckstein and Shannon Eckstein to claim the blue riband event at the state titles at Maroochydore yesterday.
Heading into the final swim leg neck and neck with the Eckstein brothers and with Poole on his feet, Day made the best use of the sand bank late in the swim, striding across the shallows to get a lead on his rivals that he was able to turn into a race-winning edge.
"I knew when I ran in to the swim I had Shannon and Caine (there with me) and Matt (Poole) was on my heels," Day said.
"I just tried not to give up all the way through. I got that wave - we all got it - and I think I just stood up and that just helped me so much.
"I got a couple of steps in front of those guys and I thought: 'bloody hell, if there's a state title up for grabs, I'll definitely take it'.
"I stood up and tried to do my best imitation of Usain Bolt running to the finish line."
The victory was a great bounce-back by Day, who was just edged for the Nutri-Grain series crown by Matt Bevilacqua three weeks ago.
And it bolsters the Surfers Paradise ironman's confidence ahead of the Australian titles in Perth next month.
"It does give you a lot of confidence," Day said.
"It's not about winning, it's just about doing the best that you can on the day and I really feel as though I did that today.
"But I've got four more weeks until Aussies and it's back to the grind.
"Every guy wants to win an Australian ironman title, they're probably the hardest ones to win.
"And they're the reason you want to do the sport, you want to do that. But they're just so tough to win.
"I remember years ago saying the guy that won state didn't do well at Aussies and I've won state - this is my third time now - so hopefully I can go over there and just be up the pointy end and make a really good race."
Despite the win, Day knows the result won't guarantee anything at Aussies.
"We're all so close," he said of the top competitors.
"You could run that race again and Shannon would have won, run it again and Caine would have won.
"It's always going to be different but it gives you confidence knowing that you're fit.
"Now I've got to go and back it up in four weeks' time."