Ironman Shannon Eckstein.
Ironman Shannon Eckstein. John Mccutcheonn

Ironman legend Eckstein rates Kendrick Louis a major threat

IRONMAN legend Shannon Eckstein rates Mooloolaba's Kendrick Louis as the "dark horse" of the upcoming Nutri-Grain Ironman Series.

Ahead of the opening round at Perth on Scarborough Beach on Sunday, Eckstein believes Louis's potential to win the whole show has been understated.

Louis was leading the series after three rounds last season when a knee injury ended his campaign.

Despite that, he is on the sixth line of betting ($13) to win the 2012-13 series.

Eckstein, who trains at Northcliffe, is the clear favourite ($2.80), followed by Kurrawa's Ky Hurst ($3.75), Mooloolaba's Ali Day ($4) and Matt Poole ($7), and Tugun's Hugh Dougherty ($10).

It might have been an oversight, but Poole recently left Louis off the list of competitors he feared most.

Poole said only he, Eckstein, Day and Hurst were capable of winning the event.

While Eckstein says reigning Coolangatta Gold champion Day is a serious threat, he believes Louis is probably the strongest competitor across all four legs.

"Ali is ranked No.1 going into the year. He's obviously the man to beat," Eckstein said.

"I think Kendrick had a great series last season before the injury. He's probably coming into it with less pressure than Ali."

Eckstein said Day, who finished second overall last season, would be eager to get his first race win.

"That will be the challenge ... he's got to break through and once that happens, the floodgates open," Eckstein said.

Given he has won more series titles than anyone, Eckstein says his biggest challenge is getting motivated.

"Six is the most professional series anyone's won ... I've got to find motivation from somewhere," he said.

 

>> Shannon Eckstein

  •  Age: 29
  •  Club: Northcliffe
  •  Four-time world ironman champion (equal to Trevor Hendy's record)
  •  Five-time national ironman champion (one off Hendy's record)
  •  Record-holding six-time Nutri-Grain Ironman Series champion


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