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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Chris Perry slept his way to dream

Chris Perry slept his way to dream

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1 Chris Perry slept his way to dream on Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:57 pm



Chris Perry slept his way to dream

By Scott Gullan
From:Herald Sun
April 03, 2012

CHRIS Perry remembers every moment of his 1982 Stawell Gift victory but very little of the build-up.

The reason - he was asleep.

Yesterday Perry fondly recalled the bizarre circumstances behind the biggest race of his life.

"We were staying just up the road, only four doors down and my trainer Neil King said to go and have a bit of a lie down after the semi-final," he said.

"So I had a lie down and fell asleep. Neil thought I must have already gone back to the track but I was still asleep.

People at the track thought I'd scratched but I got there about 15 minutes before the final. I did one stride through, a blocks start, put my spikes on and away we went.

"So it shows I can sleep through anything because I nearly slept through my own Stawell Gift final."

Perry won a dishwasher - which lasted for 15 years - and $12,000 for his victory off the handicap of 7m.

He was then instrumental in bringing about a change in the laws and the dawning of open athletics with pro runners being allowed to represent Australia on the world stage.

In 1986 Perry wore the green and gold in the 100m at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games.

"It (Stawell) was the catalyst and the springboard for what ended up being for me a very satisfying athletic career," he said.

"Nowadays it is an integral part of the Australian sprinting calendar which is something we are very proud of, given we were part of an orchestrated campaign to change the rules."

On Monday Perry will be in the ONE commentary box for the race and he is excited to see what the stars of the show, Jamaican Michael Frater and former 100m world champion Kim Collins, bring to this year's race.

"I still get toey and I think the Gift has really kicked on in recent years. The momentum is really building which is fantastic," he said.

"Having these guys here is fantastic for the race.

"People have to remember it was not so long ago that you had Linford Christie run in it, Jon Drummond run in it so there have been some unbelievably talented athletes run in it.

"It's fantastic for Stawell that someone like Michael Frater would want to come all the way out to Australia and then travel 2 1/2 hours to a small country town.

It is incredible and unbelievable that they would want to do that. That shows the standing Stawell has now."

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