Olympic ocean swimmer Ky Hurst hit back at his critics to take the second round of the Ironman Series at Portsea in Victoria on Sunday.
Hurst, who will represent Australia at the London Games, was slammed after race one by Caine Eckstein for talking himself up in a promotional internet video.
Hurst’s claim that he had more heart than his fellow competitors incensed Eckstein and drove him to victory in round one at Surfers Paradise in December.
However Hurst put in a consistent performance on Sunday winning one race and finishing second and third in the other two to take the round.
The 30-year-old Hurst said his effort wasn’t fuelled by Eckstein’s criticism and was simply about getting a job done.
“I’m not out to prove anything … it (Eckstein’s comments) certainly doesn’t bother me,” he said.
“I’m here to race and I just want to get the best out of myself.”
Kendrick Louis, from the Sunshine Coast, took an unlikely series lead on 37 points after finishing third at Portsea.
Hurst was tied for second on 36 with Louis’s Mooloolaba clubmate Ali Day.
Reigning champion Shannon Eckstein was fourth after finishing second at round two.
Gold Coast star Courtney Hancock looks well placed to defend her Ironwoman Series title after taking out round two to claim a commanding lead in the championship earlier on Sunday.
Hancock, also the reigning Coolangatta Gold and Australian Ironwoman champion, finished first and fourth in her two races.
She was nearly wiped out of the competition when she was swamped by a big shore break causing her to collide with her sister Bonnie and Kristyl Smith in the ski leg of the second race.
The accident opened the door for the Sunshine Coast’s Allira Richardson to win and grab second overall for the round, with Smith coming third.
“Kristyl, Bonnie and I absolutely got nailed on the shorey today,” Hancock said.
“It was probably exciting for everyone watching today but I was really quite nervous when I jumped on that ski and got going again.
“I figured out I was in about eighth so it was quite nerve-racking in that last race.”
Hancock, also the Coolangatta Gold and Australian Ironwoman Champion, leads the series with 50 points ahead of Smith on 40 and Liz Pluimers on 32.