FINALIST: Lana Rogers won her semi-final to qualify for the ironwoman decider.
FINALIST: Lana Rogers won her semi-final to qualify for the ironwoman decider. Harvpix.com

Rogers, Mercer into ironwoman final at Aussies

SURF LIFESAVING: Lana Rogers says the order of disciplines for Saturday's Australian ironwoman final should suit her, after she stormed through the semi-finals on Friday.

The Noosa Heads athlete and her clubmate, established star Jordan Mercer, claimed their berths in the 16-strong field with impressive displays at Perth.

"I'm very relieved. That was a really hard semi. I knew we had to race smart and we got the job done,” Rogers said.

She's now looking forward to the final, which will consist of a ski leg, a swim leg, then a board leg.

"I do enjoy the swim leg in the middle,” she said.

"I'm happy with the order. I got the job done (on Friday) and now we have to wrap our heads around tomorrow (Saturday).”

Rogers will likely head into the decider as one of the favourites after a consistent summer.

She finished fourth in the six-round Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series, claiming victory in the final round, and was second at the state championships.

Mercer, a former Ironwoman Series champion, also fared well in that semi-final on Friday to secure her spot in the final.

"I was so nervous this morning and I'm so happy to make that final,” she said. "In the Australian titles it is the process of making it through these rounds.

"When you are standing on the start line in the semi-final and it looks like it could very well be a final you know you really have to turn it on and get going.

"These are tricky conditions with that shore dump but to make it through to that final was just everything that we have trained to be able to do.”

Her father and coach Darren is a two-time Australian ironman champion and she's determined to give herself the best possible chance to win the national ironwoman crown.

"When finals day comes it is just a matter of hoping things go your way and letting your hard work shine,” she said.

Rebecca Creedy (Kurrawa) and Naomi Scott (Manly) were among others to impress yesterday.

Meanwhile, Kurrawa star Matt Poole was a shock elimination in ironman semi-finals.

"I'm devastated. The heat and the quarter felt really good, feeling pretty fit, and unfortunately that's just sort of the day,” Poole said in a press release.

Sixteen competitors qualified for each of the ironman and ironwoman finals.


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