By Ian Hanson
HAZELWOOD PONDAGE, Australia. October 5. CHAMPION Ironman Ky Hurst and his Gold Coast training partner Stephen Penfold today secured themselves places on the Telstra Dolphins Australian team for the first FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships in Hawaii.
The Miami training partners swam stroke for stroke over the final 500 metres of the five-kilometer event in the World Championship Trial at the Hazelwood Pondage, Morwell, in Victoria's Gippsland district .
Hurst, a silver medalist in the World Championships in 1998 in Perth over 5 kilometers and the reigning Australian open Ironman champion, appeared to dead-heat with rising 1500m star Penfold, but the official timekeepers gave Hurst first place by a second.
The 19-year-old Gold Coaster covered the distance in 56 minutes and 28 seconds, from 18-year-old Penfold (56 mins 29 secs) with Sydney's Mark Saliba third in 57 mins.
Hurst and Penfold, who both wore Speedo Fastskin suits belonging to Olympic 1500m gold medalist and their Miami training partner, Grant Hackett, will be named on the Australian Telstra Dolphins Team for the World Championships to be swum at Waikiki Beach, Hawaii between October 29 and November 4.