Finals Announced for Stawell Gift

Date: 2nd April 2018

Defending champion Matt Rizzo has confirmed his place in the final of the 2018 Stawell Athletic Club Stawell Gift by winning his semi-final in a time of 12.33.  He has a real chance of becoming only the second person to win two-in-a-row at the 137th iconic Easter Monday sporting event.

He will be joined in the final by fastest in each of the semi-finals, Victorian based Tasmanian Jacob Despard running off the same mark as Rizzo at 4.5m who held off US Olympic hurdler Devon Allen; semi 1 winner Mason Keast; semi 2 winner Hamish Adams; Semi 3 winner Brendan Matthews; and semi 4 winner Gary Finegan from Queensland who clocked the 3rd fastest time in the heats and has been a favourite.

After recording the second fastest overall heat time on Saturday Rizzo was placed in his semi-final alongside his coach Matt Carter who started slightly behind him on 4m.

Elizabeth Forsyth, a top beach sprinter from Queensland was the fastest in the semi-finals for the Australia Post Women’s Gift, securing her place in the final with a time of 13.85 and is now the favourite to win the $40,000 women’s title.

The five other finalists are Ebony Lane, winner of semi 1; Stephanie Jinks who won the Telstra Store Ararat 70m title yesterday and was winner of semi 2; semi 3 winner Amie Mittiga who just beat Tara Domaschenz; semi 4 winner Pam Austin who was second fastest in Saturday’s heats; and semi 5 winner Anna Pasquali who was 2nd fastest in the heats in a dramatic restart after two runners (Cara Boustead and Holly Dobbyn) were penalised 1m due to a false start.  Elizabeth Forsyth beat early favourite and fastest qualifier Kiara Reddingius out of a final place.

The only person to win back to back Stawell Gifts was Bill Howard in 1966 and 1967.  Only three people have won twice, Bill Howard, Barry Foley (1970 and 1972) and Josh Ross (2003 and 2005) who is competing in the Victorian Government Chris Perry Backmarkers Invitational Handicap 120m.

The TAC Herb Hedemann Invitation Handicap 1600m was won by Matthew Tonge

The Stawell Gift is broadcast live on the Seven Network from 11.30am AEST.

Results here

Day 3 photo gallery (Part 1) is here

If prompted, enter this password: LHphotos and please credit photos to Luke Hemer.

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