Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 22nd April 2019
Dhruv Rodgrigues Chico and Alexia Loizou have the claimed the crowns at the 138th Easter Stawell Gift Carnival, Australia’s richest footrace.
Both from Melbourne, 20-year-old Dhruv Rodgrigues Chico won the Visit Grampians Stawell Gift, and 21-year-old Lexi Loizou won the Strickland Family Women’s Gift.
Chico went into the final as the favourite, having the fastest time in the heats on Saturday of 11.912. Leonard King the powerhouse from Pyrmont in Sydney was second in 12.240 and third was Packehnam based Jason Bailey the frontmarker who ran 12.249 and has been an early favourite following his form all season.
Lachlan Sheffield from Adelaide was fourth in 12.389, Queenslander Conor Loughnan was fifth in 12.408, and Jara Konteh the 19-year-old from Footscray was sixth in 12.680.
Sheffield was able to hold off Olympic and track legend Josh Ross in the semi-finals this morning, preventing the two-time Stawell Gift winner from a history making 3rd Gift at the age of 38 years of age.
Dhruv said at the finish line: “It’s an indescribable feeling winning the Stawell Gift, I’ll let it sink in over the next few days then tell you how I’m feeling. I just had to keep telling myself – ‘don’t let it get to you,’ and in the end I had some time to ease up and savour the moment.”
Lexi Loizou, along with best friend and teammate from Matt Carter’s stable Fia Fighera took first and second in the Strickland Family Women’s Gift. Loizou clocked the fastest semi time of 13.78 and became the favourite to win the $40,000 women’s title which she did in a blistering time of 13.579. Fighera’s time was 13.659.
“I am overwhelmed to win the Stawell Gift, it’s incredible, a dream come true,” said Lexi. “Fia is so strong, I knew she would be right on my tail so I had to go as hard as I could.”
Bree Masters, the top beach sprinter from Queensland was third in a time of 13.882. “I was delighted to come third in my very first Stawell Gift, when all I came here to do was make the semis, what a great atmosphere,” said Bree.
Zoe Neale the 17-year-old from Heathmont was fourth, Hana Basic from Box Hill South was fifth in 14.025; and Ebony Lane from Baxter was sixth in 14.043.
Lauren Wells, the national 400m champion, broke at the start of her Women’s Gift semi-final this morning and was penalised a metre and was unable to make up the difference to catch Hana Basic. Wells contested the Stawell Athletic Club Jack Donaldson Handicap 200m final at 1.40pm and won that in a time of 20.603.
Harrison Hunt took out the David O Jones Mitre 10 Chris Perry Memorial Backmarkers Invitational Handicap.
Results here: http://www.stawellgift.com/on-the-track/results-2019/
Photos here: Day 3 photo gallery https://www.lukehemer.com/gallery/Day-3/G0000lMMj8NrFlHk/C0000uQhqQHVI3IM
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
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