Young Ky shines for Aussies on a shivering beach day at Glenelg
Ky Kinsella, the teenager from Coffs Harbour who found his way to the Gold Coast two years ago, emerged as one of the real stars of Australia’s triumphant victory in the National Teams Youth Ocean Championship pointscore at a windswept Glenelg Beach today.
The 19-year-old, who won double gold in the Currumbin Vikings triumphant Taplin Relay double at this year’s Australian Championships, repeated the dose against the rest of the world – this time individally. He used his long, lanky legs and surf skills to full advantage to take out the gold medal double in the Oceanman (Ironman) and board races.
Kinsella won the Oceanman final over New Zealander Declan Dempster with Great Britain’s Robert Whittaker taking the bronze and the board race ahead of fellow Australian and team captain Mitchell Coombes and Connor Botha from South Africa. He also combined with Coombes and Brendon Smith and Michael Hannah to finish second behind New Zealand in the Oceanman Relay and was third home in the surf race behind Kiwi duo Zac Reid and Lochlainn O’Connor.
In the women’s events Australia rising stillwater and surf star Lani Pallister and Ironwomen Tiarnee Massie and Manly’s co-captain Naomi Scott were outstanding with non-stop displays. Pallister, who has her sights set on the 2020 Olympic Trials in the pool, won the surf race from Alex Chislett (South Africa) with Scott third and also swam the patient leg with Keeley Booth the rescuer in the victorious Australian Rescue Tube Rescue Team.
Then Pallister combined with Scott, Massie and beach sprinter Leah Rampoldi to win the Oceanwoman Relay from New Zealand and South Africa.
Scott and Massie had busy days, combining to win the board rescue before finishing second and third respectively behind New Zealand’s Claudia Kelly in the Oceanwoman.
The Aussies celebrated their success with a resounding victory in the new Mixed Lifesaver Relay, the last event on the program, which saw Pallister open up a commanding leading in the opening swim leg. She tagged board paddler Massie, before Coombes took over on the ski before beach sprinter Michael Hannah brought the team home for the gold.
In the end it was Australia triumphant on 526 points from New Zealand 510 and France 385, followed by Great Britain 317, South Africa 301, Spain 212, USA 209, Canada 159, Hong Kong 98 with Argentina rounding out the top ten on 81.
Australian head coach Brett Dowker praised his team in what was a tough, tight, freezing day on the beach. “It was freezing, the wind was blowing and it was cold but all the teams toughed it out and I couldn’t be prouder of the efforts of the Australian team,” said Dowker.
“But the campaign isn’t over – we have the pool rescue events starting tomorrow and we know we are in for another tough assignment but we are up for it”.