Date: 6th April 2022

Tokyo 2020 1500m finalist Linden Hall will take on Australian 800m record holder Catriona Bisset and Australian representatives.

Following the incredible success of the AIA Vitality Invitational 3200m at the 2021 Powercor Stawell Gift, AIA Vitality has turned its attention to a feature women’s race at the 2022 carnival with the AIA Vitality Invitational Women’s Handicap 1000m set to be a highlight of the Easter Monday action at Central Park.

 The unique 1000m distance will see 1500m and 800m specialists going head to head for $6,500 in prize money and the inaugural AIA Vitality Women’s Handicap title.

“We are delighted that AIA Vitality continues to invest in our carnival and use these amazing women to showcase AIA Vitality’s vision to make Australia one of the healthiest nations in the world,’ said Stephanie Spence, Chair of Stawell Gift Event Management. 

AIA Vitality is the personalised, science-backed health and wellbeing program that supports people to make healthier lifestyle choices for customers of AIA Health Insurance, so it is fitting that it continues to partner with the Powercor Stawell Gift through this  race.

 CEO and Managing Director of AIA Australia Damien Mu said, “AIA Australia is proud to be involved in the iconic Stawell Gift again this year. The event has so much history and the athletes are a real source of inspiration for so many Australians.”

 “We’re passionate supporters of women in sport, so it’s fantastic that this year’s Stawell Gift will feature the AIA Vitality Invitational Women’s Handicap for the first time. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of everyone involved.”

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Linden Hall set Australian hearts racing when she produced a brilliant semi-final run  to ensure that Australia was the only country with two representatives in the 1500m final. Hall went on to finish sixth in the final, ahead of compatriot Jessica Hull in eleventh.

Thirty-year-old Hall, who hails from Melbourne, will make her competitive debut at Stawell this year.

“I’ve previously been to Stawell as a spectator but I’m excited to line up this time around. Racing on grass will be a new challenge and I’m expecting a tough contest given the depth and quality of the field,” said Hall.”

Though Hall believes she has an advantage over the 800m runners in the field.

“The 1000m distance is also unique but I think the 1500m runners like me are at an advantage as I believe it’s easier to race shorter than step up in distance.”

 The confirmed athletes for the AIA Vitality Invitational Women’s Handicap include:

Athlete      Credentials
Linden Hall
  • Australian 1000m record holder, former Australian 1500m record holder, Tokyo 2020 Olympic 1500m Finalist 
Catriona Bisset
  • Australian 800m record holder, Tokyo 2020 Olympian.
Georgia Griffith
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympian, Commonwealth Games Finalist, World Championship semi finalist
Natalie Rule
  • Australian representative, 2nd place at 2022 Melbourne Track Classic 1500m
Sarah Billings
  • Australian representative, 3rd place at 2022 Melbourne Track Classic 1500m
Abbey Caldwell
  • 2022 Australian 1500m National Champion
Tess Kirsopp-Cole
  • Australian 800m runner with a 2:02:64 800m PB

The AIA Vitality Invitational Women’s Handicap will take place at 1.35pm on Easter Monday, April 18, 2022 and will be featured in the live national broadcast on Seven. To add to the unique excitement of this race,  athletes will be flown to Stawell from Melbourne by private charter specifically for the race.

Tickets to witness this race, and the three days of action at the Powercor Stawell Gift, are now on sale at Ticketek.  Tickets >> 

 For more information please contact Jane Owen from 360 Sport and Entertainment on 0407 936 005 or via email  

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