Date: 4th April 2021

Stawell, VIC, April 4, 2021: The favourites for the 2021 Powercor Stawell Gift and the Change Our Game Women’s Gift will face off in the semi-finals tomorrow, with only one in each race to qualify for the richest footrace in Australia.

The male athlete with the fastest time in the heats is Luke Houlihan, runner up in the 2015 Stawell Gift.  He has been drawn in Semi Final 6 with the highly-rated Aaron Bresland. Houlihan was at $1.70 with bookmakers this afternoon.

Favourite with the bookies is Edward Ware at $1.40. Edward is drawn in the 4thsemi-final against strong contenders Daniel Sonsini, Michael Hanna and Eli Hall.

The semi-finals start tomorrow (Monday) at 12.15pm, with the Change Our Game Women’s semis kicking off at 12.15, shortly after the live television coverage on the 7 Network begins at 11.30am AEST.  The Powercor Stawell Gift semis start at 12.54pm.

Immediately after the semis and before the finals of these two premier events will be the new the AIA Vitality Invitation 3200m featuring the best Australian distance runners including Stewart McSweyn. This is expected to be one of the greatest distance races ever conducted on Australian soil.

Following her fastest time in the heats of the Change our Game Women’s Gift, South Australian Hayley Orman is the favourite with the bookmakers at $2. She is in the same heat with Elizabeth Ruach and Hannah Lindstrom.

2019 runner up and back marker this year Fia Fighera was at $8 and will line up in the first semi-final with the talented Karlee Bailey on $4. Also on $4 is 14-year-old Grace Kelly, Karla Montagne is on $5 with second favourite being Queenslander Dianne Waight on $3. Ellie Keritianos who had the 3rdfastest time in the heats is at $6.

Today, the popular 70m races drew much attention from the crowd with Olivia May taking the Stawell Athletic Club Women’s Handicap 70m in 8.536 and Jerome Lugo winning the Arthur Postle Handicap 70m in a time of 7.420. 

20-year-old Olivia May from Moorabbin trains under Paul Taylor with Hampton Life Saving Club and a group of beach sprinters from Melbourne who started pro-running last year. “We are loving it. We beach sprint along the bay and travel around the coast competing so this is a bit different,” said Olivia.

After the heats Olivia said she didn’t expect to do so well. “I came here for the experience. I was super happy with that run.” Following her win May said “That was my best run from the weekend and it felt really good. I was super stoked to come out with the win, it was so close at the end.”

Olivia is in semi-final 4 tomorrow of the Change Our Game Women’s Gift. “I’m going to give the 120m a good crack, there are some amazing athletes in that one, we’ll see how I pull up and I’m really excited. I’m so happy for the 70m, the rest will just be a bonus.”

As well as winning the Arthur Postle Handicap 70m, Jerome Lugo had the fastest time in the Bill Howard Handicap 100m today and is favourite to win that event too tomorrow and follow in older brother Rupert’s steps who won the same event in 2015.

Stawell Times News Under 18 Boys Handicap 100m was won by Colin Skeen from Broome, who won a trip to Stawell to compete following his win at the 2019 Kimberley Gift.  “I’m loving it here, it’s a great experience,” said Colin accepting his sash. Kimberley Gift organiser Tim Mason said: “It’s a long way to come but Colin has been rewarded for a great effort.”

The SkillInvest Under 18 Girls Handicap 100m was won by Lucinda Rankin.

On the circular track Joshua Augustinis won the Carter Family Victory Restricted Handicap 1600m, Gordon Knight won the Past Runners Association Women’s and Masters’ Handicap 1600m, with Mark Hippo Hipworth taking the 2ndplace trophy and Kash Powell took out the WH Earle Handicap 550m.

RESULTS Full results for Day 2 of the Power Stawell Gift Carnival are here:

PHOTOS for Day 2 here:

Tickets for Easter Monday are available from Ticketek or at the Box Office at the gate. Easter Monday action from Central Park will be livestreamed on the Stawell Gift Facebook page and YouTube Channel from 9.30am – 11.30am, with the broadcast live and free on Seven from 11.30am – 2.30pm AEST.

For all media enquiries, please contact: Jane Owen at 360 Sport and Entertainment on 0407936005 or email



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