Thomas takes home two gold medals - the hard way
THOMAS Bedingfield clearly doesn't like to do things the easy way.
The under-14 competitor from Manly finished yesterday's action at Maroochydore with two gold medals but he was made to work hard for both of them.
His wins in both the board race and the ironman were notable for one thing, his powerful, determined finish that made all the difference.
The board race was first and it all came down to a sprint up the beach after Bedingfield reached the sand alongside clubmate Zach Morris and Kyle Lehmann from Catherine Hill Bay, south of Newcastle.
Desperately straining up the bank to the finish line, the strongly-built Bedingfield had enough pace and power get his head in front.
"There are no words to describe how I feel, it's amazing," he said.
Bedingfield and Morris also finished first and second at the New South Wales championships and it was the runner-up who best described the frantic finish.
"I just put my head down and hoped for the best," Morris said.
Backing up not long afterwards, Bedingfield once again found himself having to dig deep to claim ironman victory.
After the opening board leg, he was placed fourth going into the swim, with Morris leading the way.
William Bowden of Victorian club Lorne then looked to have the race in his grasp after swimming to the lead, but he swam into a fast-running rip and for a while was working hard but going nowhere.
That allowed Bedingfield and Northcliffe's Jordan Sergis to catch up and the trio rose to their feet for the final sprint with nothing between them. Sergis looked the fastest but fell at the turning flag and Bedingfield was able to edge out Bowden in a desperate finish.
This time Bedingfield literally had no words - he was too exhausted to talk.