Poole ruing missed Ironman chance
A "DEVASTATED" Matt Poole is ruing a missed opportunity in Round 5 of the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series, despite closing the gap on leader Ali Day at Surfers Paradise at the weekend.
Entering the penultimate round trailing Day by 55 points, 2016-17 series champion Poole closed the gap with a runner-up finish as Day came in seventh on his home turf on Saturday.
However, with 24 point still separating the pair ahead of the final round at Wanda on February 22-23, the Kurrawa veteran knows he may have let slip a golden chance to stop Day from claiming a second crown.
"I'm super happy to get a podium and get second but in the overall standings if I had have got the win with Ali taking a seventh, it would've put me in a much better position going into the final round. So it's a bittersweet result," the 30-year-old said.
"Definitely (this result) has drawn me back in again closer to him but with his two wins in previous rounds I had to win today to really put some pressure on him in the last round.
"As we've seen all season, it's very attainable but I'm going to need some things to go my way in Wanda.
"(But) I love racing in Sydney, I love racing under pressure. It's Ali's series to lose realistically, he's got a really handy little lead so he's going to turn up to Wanda and want to execute.
"All I can do is control my race and I'm going to go out there and win. I can't control what's going to happen to him but if I can get the win in Wanda it's going to throw the ball in his court."
Victory for Day would have delivered his first Ironman title since breaking through in 2014-15, but it was Northcliffe's Cory Taylor who ensured the series would go down to the final round with a thrilling win.
Leading a tight group nearing the end of the board leg, Poole appeared on track for maximum points before Mother Nature intervened.
"I'd been pretty consistent all day and was in that top two or three and then … I got knocked back and ended up around sixth or seventh," he said.
"I was still there but when I ended up getting down on my own wave on the board, I was a little bit devastated.
"I honestly thought that was it, that once I got down on that wave that was it and I had the win sealed. Once I pulled that wave, I thought that was taking me all the way to the beach and it just died out in that gutter section and opened the race back up again.
"I can't tell you how frustrating that was. The sport these days is so ridiculously fast and cutthroat.
"What people don't realise is just how (when you) make a small mistake in this series how costly they are."