Bitter-sweet champion

Like father, like son: World champion runner Greg Hoare and his son, Australian two kilometre-beach champion Oliver, at North Cronulla beach. Inset: Oliver Hoare (centre) leads the pack before outdistancing his rivals to win the national championships. Main picture: Lisa McMahon; inset picture: John Veage NORTH Cronulla’s Oliver Hoare followed in the footsteps of his world champion father to win the Australian Under 15 beach run at the five-day Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. But it was bitter-sweet, as it was for so many who competed.
Nanjing Night Net

Son of dual world two-kilometre beach run champion Greg Hoare, Oliver backed up his win at the state championships to take out the Under 15 boys 2km national title at North Kirra, Gold Coast.

His run came a few days after he competed and talked with Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club board paddler, Matthew Barclay, in a heat of the board relay. Later, Barclay tragically lost his life in rough seas at Kurrawa beach.

‘‘A few of us knew him,’’ said Oliver, who is also a pretty good swimmer and paddler and also won a silver with his club’s U15 boys board relay team.

‘‘He appeared confident about his chances, but he didn’t say too much.’’

Oliver was a member of the North Cronulla champion Under 15 team, which helped pilot North Cronulla to their best result in more than a decade at the national titles — sixth overall in the club pointscore.

Oliver didn’t just win the 2km run, either, he smashed the opposition by more than 50 metres! It was exactly 20 years ago that his father won his second world title, the 1992 2km beach run in Shamoda, Japan, where one of his rivals was Gold Coast ironman champion, Trevor Hendy. Two years earlier, Cronulla’s Greg Hoare also won the world 2km run in Lubeck, Germany.

‘‘Oliver got second at both state and nationals last year, so now I guess he’s following in his Dad’s footsteps,’’ said Greg during a training run with his son at North Cronulla yesterday.

Oliver’s older brother Chris is a young champion swimmer, too. He won the Horrie Maher (junior encouragement) award at the Leader-Tynan Honda Sportstar of the Year awards dinner last Friday, before winning gold at the state school swim titles at Homebush this week.

¦ Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club’s junior paddler, Keegan Street, attempted to help Matthew Barclay before the boy disappeared last Wednesday.

Keegan gave a lengthy statement to investigating police after he competed in the same Under-15s board relay race as Matthew, 14.

Cronulla club president Greg Holland told the Leader that Keegan had tried to reach Matthew, who may have been unconscious in the water, before ‘‘signalling to a rescue jet ski for help’’.

‘‘Keegan followed exact procedures in what was very turbulent conditions,’’ Holland said.

Cronulla team manager Kevin Neilson told brisbanetimes南京夜网.au of the drama.

‘‘Keegan couldn’t reach him,” Neilson said. ‘‘He was on the board trying to get to him, but the waves were just coming in too fast. The jet ski had to turn around because of the waves.’’

Neilson said Keegan was among the many distraught competitors and families after Matthew’s board came in to shore with a dent. Matthew’s body was later found more than a 1.5 kilometres away.

Following the third death at Kurrawa beach, Holland said he would not recommend competition at the beach at future surf championships.

Posted by at 14/05/2018
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