Australia’s top sprinters were on show this long weekend and it all came to a thrilling conclusion at the Stawell Gift on Monday.
Harrison Kerr won the prestigious men’s Stawell Gift on Monday while Carla Bull took out top spot in the women’s edition of Australia’s richest footrace.
The Easter classic is a major highlight of the Australian athletics calendar and Bull and Kerr stepped up in their respective finals when it mattered most, beating the rest of the pack in the iconic handicap event.
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Bull won a thrilling 120m women’s Gift, edging ahead in a photo finish after starting from the middle of the field.
She was off a handicap of six metres and beat Clare de Salis (second) and Mia Gross (third) in a time of 13.77 seconds.
Kerr looked in ominous form earlier in the day as he cruised to victory in his semi-final, crossing the line in 12.15 seconds off a mark of 9.25m.
A hot favourite, the 22-year-old showed no signs of nerves as he kept his cool in the main event to post a blistering 11.85s off the same 9.25m handicap and snap up the $40,000 winner’s cheque.
Hamish Lindstrom was second while Jesse McKenna — son of former AFL player and coach Guy McKenna — finished in third.
“It’s the best thing ever, finally,” Kerr told Channel 7. “I’d like to thank everyone. There’s so many people involved, a whole community involved — it’s just incredible.
“I knew if I stressed out I’d tense up and throw it out the window, so really happy with it.”