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Louis, Dunn score round four ironman wins
18:29 AEST Sat Feb 9 2013

Kendrick Louis staged a remarkable come-from-behind win in the national ironman series on Sunday while teen wildcard Maddy Dunn caused one of the biggest upsets in the women's event as both youngsters claimed their maiden victories.

Louis came from last place to win round four in pounding surf at Surfers Paradise.

The highly-rated youngster outlasted one of the sport's greats, Ky Hurst, in a pulsating fourth and final lap of the endurance race.

Six-time champion and series leader Shannon Eckstein finished third.

"I don't even know what happened. I was coming last," the surprised 22-year-old said.

"I honestly can't believe (it) ... I guess I've said it many times. The show's never over till it's over.

"I was telling myself the whole way to stay positive, that it's not over and it's a long race. I focused on the basics the whole way and fought my way back to claim the win.

"Shannon and Ky are my idols and to race to the finish line with them is unbelievable."

Louis, touted by Eckstein as the man to beat before round one, led last year's series after three rounds before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in round four.

He has had a strong start to this series with top-six placings in the first three rounds but looked far from winning on Sunday when he lost his ski on lap one.

But with the surf exacting a horrible toll on the 17-man field, he stayed calm and focused.

There was a measure of disbelief on the beach when he jumped off the ski in second place at the end of lap three.

He established a winning break over Hurst by hitting blue water first on the final lap.

In the end, he had a big enough lead to saviour the run to the line, finishing in 1hr 23min.

He moved to second on the overall standings 40 points behind Eckstein with two rounds remaining.

In the women's race, 18-year-old rookie Dunn made her move on the ski leg on lap two of the three-and-a-half lap race and held her nerve as more experienced rivals faltered.

She finished minutes ahead of second-placed Jordan Mercer, as walls of white water caused carnage.

It was back-to-back podiums for Mercer, with veteran Hayley Bateup third.

"I wasn't expecting this," Dunn said. "Even just getting into the series was a lot.

"And this is better. It's like a dream come true.

"I have never felt that good out on the water. I kept looking behind and it was a great feeling to be ahead of the other girls and finish first."

Dunn, who went into round four of the six-round series in 11th place, showed composure beyond her years as she moved to fourth on the overall standings, firmly establishing herself as a star on the rise.

Her best result before Saturday was a ninth in the opening round in Perth.


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