Niall Thompson has achieved a long-held ambition, winning the right to compete in the Kona Ironman in Hawaii this week.
Usually near impossible to qualify for the event which is regarded as the world championships of Ironman, Thompson was devastated to miss the cut by just one spot some 16 years ago.
“I’d placed in my age group, but it wasn’t enough to get in,” he said.
Determined to reach his goal, the Warragul resident was able to advance through a program designed to reward those who are the most committed to the sport.
It has been a gruelling journey to win the right to compete against some of the best athletes in the world for Thompson, who has now completed 25 Ironman races in his career.