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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Elliott fulfills a childhood dream at Queanbeyan

Elliott fulfills a childhood dream at Queanbeyan

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http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/gift-victory-for-elliotts-grandfather/2010095.aspx

Gift victory for Elliott's grandfather
By JON TUXWORTH
Canberra Times
28 Nov, 2010


Hometown hero Patrick Elliott was embraced by his ecstatic family after winning one of the tightest finishes in Queanbeyan Gift history yesterday.

But as he accepted the accolades and backslaps, the 22-year-old couldn't help wishing one of his greatest fans was still around to witness it.

After fulfilling a childhood dream by winning the 120m race, Queanbeyan's Elliott immediately dedicated it to his grandfather, who passed away in January.

''You couldn't ask for someone better to support you than my grandfather,'' an emotional Elliott, who won $10,000, said.

''He was just awesome. We could sit there for hours talking about athletics.

''He would tell me his stories about when he used to run, and I would tell him mine.''

Elliott was given a mark of 8.75m in the final, and clocked 12.30 seconds to edge out the 2010 Stawell Gift runner-up, Sydney's Richard Hankin (12.39sec from 5.75m).

Looking to become the first man to win the race twice, fellow Canberran Brendan Matthews (12.44sec from 5.25m) had to be content with third.

Elliott grew up watching the race and idolising its competitors, vowing to one day wear that coveted green winner's sash.

Yesterday just 0.28sec separated the eight finalists in a thrilling climax to Australia's third-richest scratch race.

''I've been running at this event since the juniors, and this is the one I've always desperately wanted to win,'' Elliott said.

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