Posted by Hopwood Wendy
Date: 2nd April 2021
The 139th running of the Powercor Stawell Gift – Australia’s greatest footrace – starts tomorrow in the north-west Victorian town of Stawell. More than 6000 tickets have been been pre-sold via Ticketek.
Three days of racing culminate in the iconic Powercor Stawell Gift and the Change Our Game Women’s Gift, with $40,000 going to the winners of both. A new feature race has been added – the AIA Vitality Invitation 3200m featuring the best Australian distance runners including Stewart McSweyn.
Hana Basic, the current #1 female 100m runner in Australia will compete in the Furphy Chris Perry Memorial Backmarker Invitation Handicap 120m which will be run between the Change Our Game Women’s Gift and Powercor Stawell Gift Finals.
“Visitors to Central Park will experience top level professional running with the fantastic atmosphere that the Gift is famous for,” said Stephanie Spence, Chair of Stawell Gift Event Management. “We’ve had a really good uptake of tickets so far. Tickets are are limited, so get in quick to avoid missing out on what is going to be a great celebration of Australian athletics.
“With nearly 600 athletes it’s so encouraging to see the strong numbers continuing. It’s exciting because of what we have had to deal with in 2020 and leading up to Easter,” said Stephanie Spence, Chair of Stawell Gift Event Management.
“With all the State border rules restricting travel, and the number of key athletics events changing dates, we are thrilled with the number of runners joining us for the pinnacle of Australian pro running events next week.”
Defending Powercor Stawell Gift champion Dhruv Rodrigues Chico will be trying for back to back wins which has only been achieved once before since the first Stawell Gift was run in 1878. The Victorian State 100m and 200m Champion said of his 0.75m mark: “Being a backmarker is not going to be easy, but I’m definitely up for the challenge.”
2018 Stawell Gift winner Jacob Despard said of his 1.25m: “Probably a bit far back for me to be a chance but I’ll give it a crack!”
Sophia Fighera is back to try to go one further than 2019 where she was only just behind winner Alexia Loizou in the Change Our Game Women’s Gift. Fia will run off a mark of 1m.
Early favourites by bookmakers for the Powercor Stawell Gift are Sebastian Baird at $4,
South Australian Luke Houlihan at $5, Max Mason at $7, Jake Ireland and Munashe Hove on $8.50 and Matt Burleigh and Edward Ware on $10. Dhruv Rodgrigues Chico is currently at $15.
Organisers are strongly advising spectators to purchase tickets in advance via Ticketek to avoid queues but there will be a box office at the gate. Adult concession tickets start from just $15. The COVIDsafe event have some new regulations in place including different zones for athletes and spectators. All attendees will be required to check in using the Victorian Government QR code system.
The 2021 Powercor Stawell Gift will be broadcast on Channel 7 from 11.30am AEST on Monday April 5.
Posted by Hopwood Wendy
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