Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 24th February 2012
Two of the world’s fastest men will race at the 2012 Australia Post Stawell Gift this Easter, with 4x100m relay world record holder Michael Frater of Jamaica now set to join 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins in the chase for the $40,000 winner’s cheque.
An integral member of the all-conquering Jamaican relay team, Frater combined with teammates Nesta Carter, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt to sensationally win gold in a world record time of 37.04 seconds at last year’s world championships in Daegu, Korea.
Team Jamaica boasts the top three relay performances of all-time – and Frater has featured in all three. The 29-year-old stormed to relay gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (37.10sec) and secured his first world championship relay title (37.31sec) in Berlin in 2009.
His individual 100m resume is just as impressive. In 2005, Frater was awarded silver at the world championships after a photo-finish with a resurgent Collins, both athletes clocking 10.05 seconds.
On six occasions Frater has stopped the clock under the ten second mark for the 100m, and just last year he powered to a new personal best of 9.88sec at the Lausanne IAAF Diamond League.
With Jamaican sprint stocks at all time high, Frater will look to Stawell as a key part of his Olympic Games preparation.
“The year ahead is a big one for me obviously with the main focus on the Olympics in August but first I need to get through my country’s trials,” said Frater, who placed sixth in the 100m final in Beijing 2008.
“There is already a lot of buzz in Jamaica about the Games. Our country is performing at an all-time best. We have probably close to ten sprinters that will be breaking ten seconds for the 100m this year and that is going to make for a very exciting summer.”
Having spent many years training on grass in Jamaica, Frater may just have a few tricks up his sleeve when he graces the hallowed turf at Central Park.
“I am very excited to run at the Stawell Gift,” Frater said. “It’s a race that I have read about for years and it seems to be a great event with a lot of history.
“I believe that running on grass will work in my favour. Being from Jamaica, I have grown up running on grass tracks and every year the majority of my training is done on grass.
“The handicapping of the races adds a very interesting element to the sport and makes for a very exciting race. It will be a new experience to race from a deficit but I will be ready for it. I may have to give some head starts to some of the younger guys in my training group and work on catching them.”
Frater is a long term member of the famous MVP Track Club in Jamaica, which is headed by coach Stephen Francis and boasts the calibre of former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell and reigning Olympic 100m champion Shelley-Ann Fraser.
Hailing from a talented sporting family, his mother Monica was a sprinter, his father Lyndell a cricketer and his older brother Lindel competed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games where he reached the semi-finals of the men’s 100m.
“This year’s Australia Post Stawell Gift will feature a strong Caribbean flavour, and sports fans are in for a treat with pocket rockets Kim Collins and Michael Frater in action this Easter,” said Australia Post Stawell Gift promoter David Culbert.
“It’s a credit to the event, the Stawell Athletic Club and the event sponsors that we are able to entice two world-class sprinters to compete at Central Park, especially in such an important Olympic year.”
The 131st edition of the Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival will be staged over the Easter long weekend from Friday, 6 April to Monday, 9 April 2012.
The carnival kicks off with the Calcutta on Friday night and is followed by three days of thrilling racing, including the Driscoll McIllree and Dickinson Ladies Day and Family Day, all culminating in the 131st running of the Australia Post Stawell Gift on Easter Monday.
For those still looking for accommodation at Easter, check out Stawell Central, a temporary accommodation precinct located just minutes from Central Park. Further information can be found on www.stawellgift.com.
Michael Frater – Fast Facts
Born: 6 October 1982 (currently 29 years of age)
|60m||6.62||Liévin, France||13 Feb 2012|
|100m||9.88||Lausanne, Switzerland||30 Jun 2011|
|200m||20.63||Louisville, USA||10 May 2002|
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
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