Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 9th March 2012
Nairobi is a long way from Stawell – more than 11,000km in fact – but the lure of a slice of $120,000 in prize money and a chance to make history has enticed five world class Kenyan distance runners to make the journey to Central Park this Easter.
The Kenyan contingent adds to the strong international flavour at this year’s Australia Post Stawell Gift, which already boasts two of the fastest men on the planet, in 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins (St Kitts & Nevis) and 4x100m relay world record holder Michael Frater (Jamaica).
The injection of top quality African runners will significantly bolster the fields set to compete in events from 550m to 3200m, including the Retravision Herb Hedemann mile and Thirsty Camel Grampians 3200m.
The talented brigade is headlined by former world junior 1500m champion Remmy Limo, who will be joined by world youth 800m bronze medallist Nicholas Kipkoech, and Ismael Kombich who placed sixth over 1500m at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Margaret Muriuki will return to Stawell for the second year in a row, and this year will be accompanied by former African 800m champion Lydia Wafula. The two women will also compete in the men’s distance races in an intriguing battle of the sexes.
“Last year was the first time Central Park played host to world class African distance runners, and they certainly put on a show,” said Australia Post Stawell Gift promoter David Culbert.
“In fact, Collins Cheboi’s effort from scratch in the Retravision Herb Hedemann mile will go down as one of the greatest runs in the Gift’s long and distinguished history.”
“We’re anticipating some exciting performances from the Kenyan runners this Easter. Not only is this a great opportunity for our local runners to take on some of the best in the world, but I’m sure the large Australian distance fraternity will come out to watch them in action.”
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.
Remmy Ndiwa Limo (24yo)
1500m PB – 3:32:83 (Lausanne 2010)
3000m PB – 7:35:44 (Ostrava 2010)
– 2006 world junior 1500m champion
– Multiple podium finishes on European circuit
Ismael Kipngetich Kombich (26yo)
800m PB – 1:44.24 (Lausanne 2006)
1500m PB – 3:33.31 (Heusden 2010)
– Competed at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, placing sixth in the final of 1500m
Nicholas Kipkoech Kiplagat (19yo)
800m PB – 1:45.47 (Milano 2011)
– Won bronze over 800m at the 2009 world youth championships
Margaret Wangari Muriuki (25yo)
1500m PB – 4:11.10 (Kalamata 2009)
3000m PB – 8:37:97 (Monaco 2010)
– Sixth place at 2010 world cross country championships
– Eighth place at 2008 world cross country championships
Lydia Wafula (24yo)
800m PB – 2:02.84 (Rades 2005)
– 2004 world junior championships 800m semi finalist
– 2007 African 800m champion
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Comments are closed.