Nadi Canning
Nadi Canning The Northern Star

Nadi's strong finish

DORROUGHBY ironwoman Nadi Canning matched it with the best in her sport to finish eighth in the Coolangatta Gold yesterday.

Canning completed the torturous 30.5km endurance event in 3 hours 32 minutes, ahead of glamour girls Candice Falzon and Kristyl Smith and about 14 minutes behind winner Hayley Bateup.

Coach Lou Wilson said Canning had exceeded all pre-race expectations.

“We were hoping for a top 10 - she raced as well as she could have raced,” Wilson said.

“Everything we planned she did and a little bit better.

“She had nothing left.”

After an explosive start, Canning was 12th after the opening 15km ski paddle.

“There was a lead group of eight and then a couple of minutes' gap to another group of four,” Wilson said.

“She hit the front of that group in the (2.5km) swim and made a break in the run.

“So she was on her own in ninth for most of the run.

“She caught a couple in the run, worked her way into seventh and then got picked up on the line.”

The result is the culmination of six months of hard training from the second-year medicine student.

“I'm very proud of her,” Wilson said.

“She's done it hard, training on her own and she's matched it with the best in the country.

“She was not that far behind and had to work on her own throughout the race.

“So to be able to pick up that sort of quality athlete, I'm very, very proud.”

The win saw Bateup enter the history books as the first woman to win the event three times.

“She's probably the hottest ironwoman in Australia over the past 10 years,” Wilson said.

After a painful recovery period, Canning will begin setting herself for the shorter, NutriGrain Iron Man qualifying.

Open Women: Hayley Bateup (Kurrawa) 03:18:45 Courtney Hancock (Northcliffe) 03:25:56 Alyce Bennett (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) 03:26:58 Kirsty Holmes (Kawana Waters ) 03:27:13 Flora Manciet (Northcliffe) 03:29:50 Gemma Newbiggin (Mooloolaba ) 03:32:09 Nadi Canning (Lennox Head Alstonville) 03:32:30 Candice Falzon (North Bondi) 03:34:69 Kristyl Smith (Northcliffe) 3:39.45 Kristen Askew (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park) 03:38:17 Sarah Colby (Mooloolaba) 03:39:43

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