Ali chasing greatness at Aussie surf titles
ALI Day could be forgiven for resting on his laurels after completing one of the greatest comebacks in ironman history, but the 23-year-old is hungrier than ever to win the ironman event at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships next week.
If he does, he will become just the second man to complete the "treble".
Fellow Coast ironman Zane Holmes is the only man so far to have won the Coolangatta Gold, the Australian championship and a Kellogg's Ironman Series.
Day capped a remarkable return from exhaustion as a wildcard in last summer's Kellogg's campaign when he beat eight-time winner Shannon Eckstein by a point to take out his maiden series.
It would be a fitting result should Day secure the only remaining major surf lifesaving title eluding him, considering his 2013 Coolangatta Gold victory was the catalyst for him missing that year's Kellogg's series through exhaustion.
Day already sits among an illustrious group who have won the Coolangatta Gold and a Kellogg's series, including his coach Michael King, Darren Mercer and Shannon Eckstein, but would love to match Holmes' achievement.
"It would mean the world to win it and be the best thing, but the Australian titles are the hardest titles to win," Day said.
"I guess as a surf lifesaving competitor and as an ironman you come into the sport just hoping to make the series, to get on the podium.
"I think it would be amazing to do that one day and I have hopefully got a long time left in the sport and hopefully I get one of those and add it to the Coolangatta Gold and the Kellogg's series."
Day had a mishap at the state championship at Maroochydore, missing a wave during the ironman race and being eliminated in the heats.
It was, however, his first race in three months.
Day said that poor showing at Maroochydore had provided him with the "reality check" he needed to hopefully inspire him to greatness at Kirra in the ironman.
"It was a good reality check and those things need to happen to an athlete or a person, or a team," he said.
"It was upsetting at the time but it made me focus a lot more on what I needed to improve and what I needed to work on at training.
"They are the best things when you have a setback like that and things don't go your way."
Day said his Mooloolaba training partners were in prime condition both mentally and physically to shine on the Gold Coast.
"There are probably six or seven guys in the opens (including Luke Cuff, Matt Poole, Matt Bevilacqua, Hayden White and Cam Cole) who are all phenomenal on the board and ski and ironman, then you throw in the mix someone like Alex Wright, who is in the 19s, as well as the girls.
"Without putting too much pressure on them, they are in good form and they have done the work ... and I think everyone will walk away with some positive results."