Heat on as Currie tries to qualify for Kona

Braden Currie trains in preparation for the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships. PHOTO: SEAN BEALE
Braden Currie trains in preparation for the Ironman Asia Pacific Championships. PHOTO: SEAN BEALE
A title defence and a last shot at world championship qualification await Braden Currie.

That leaves plenty for the Wanaka triathlete to race for at Ironman's Asia Pacific Championships.

Eighty slots for the World Championships will be up for grabs in Cairns tomorrow.

It is the last remaining event on Currie's schedule to gain qualification for Kona.

A new qualifying system meant one race could get you over the line, rather than a strong performance at last year's world championships and a handful of consistent races.

That was leaving many athletes targeting weaker events, or earlier ones, before the professional racers got desperate.

However, Currie was not buying into the new system.

He had won in Cairns last year and finished fifth at the world championships, giving him good reason to be confident this time around.

"I simply want to race the events that I want to race," he said.

"I also like racing a strong field of athletes, which is why I am choosing Ironman Asia Pacific champs.

"...it will be bad luck if something goes wrong for me in that race, and I might have to think about racing again to qualify.

"I'd prefer to put it all on the line, as that's what I believe racing is defined by."

Currie was feeling good heading into the event, having had a good and consistent build up.

He did not take much time off after Ironman New Zealand and had a far more extensive preparation than last year.

While his third place in New Zealand had not been the result he wanted, he felt he did not have a bad race.

Currie's rise in Ironman has been relatively rapid.

He came to the event two years ago, having achieved highly on the Xterra circuit, and is now among the world's top racers.

He said it was a case of finding the extra 1% to help him edge ahead.

Sometimes that could simply come down to having a good day.

"To be honest, I think you just need things to align for you and have a good race, so that's what I'm hoping for.

"I also believe you need to determine your own sense of balance in life during the training year, where you can get the most out of your training without getting sick or injured.

"It's a hard line to balance on, when you are trying to push out your limits.

"I feel like I have found a solid place within my training and I feel really good about the year so far."

Tomorrow's race begins at 7.35am.

It includes a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run.

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