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HUNTER ATHLETES ON THE GOLD COAST FOR TRIATHLON GRAND FINALS

It would’ve broken your average athlete, but the Hunter’s Lauren Parker has described her latest setback as just another obstacle. The 29-year-old is recovering from major surgery on her spine. She hasn’t regained full feeling in her right arm and hand, yet she’s about to compete in the World Triathlon Grand Final. “I haven’t had the best preparation but I’m going into the race being positive and do the best I can.” “My plan is to just go as hard as I can in the swim and bike and then hold on for the run, the racing chair.” Fellow Aussie Aaron Royle is looking to end a frustrating season on a high. “The most challenging thing about the race is going to be the quality of field for sure, a star studded field that have here, the 55 – 60 …

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PONGA BECOMES YOUNGEST WINNER OF PLAYERS CHAMPION AWARD

He’s already won the Danny Buderus Medal at the Knights, now Kalyn Ponga has become the youngest ever recipient of the Rugby League Players’ Association’s, Players’ Champion award. The 20-year-old follows in the footsteps of several legends, including Buderus, who won the prize in 2004, and Johnathan Thurston, who claimed it four times. Fittingly his former Cowboys team mate presented Ponga with the trophy last night. “I’m pretty nervous for this award, I don’t usually get nervous but as Johnno touched on it’s pretty huge so yeah I didn’t expect this at all.”

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