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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Bigger, faster, better-looking' brother says race is a gift

Bigger, faster, better-looking' brother says race is a gift

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'Bigger, faster, better-looking' brother says race is a gift

November 24, 2013

Lee Gaskin
Sports reporter at The Canberra Times

HE GOT ''snipered'' in last year's Queanbeyan Gift final, but Jesse Matthews hopes his luck turns around to help add a second title to the family collection.

Jesse and younger brother Brendan are through to the semi-finals of the men's event at Queanbeyan Park after progressing through their respective heats of the event on Saturday.

Canberra long jumper Angus Gould (handicap of 7.75m) will be the red-hot favourite for the $10,000 winner's cheque on Sunday, as his time of 12.22 seconds is two-tenths of a second quicker than the rest of the field.

Jesse Matthews of Kaleen (centre, in yellow) is ready to win a second title to the family collection. Photo: Graham Tidy
Jesse Matthews (9.5m) claimed the opening heat in a time of 12.74 seconds to book his spot in the final 32, with Brendan (6m) finishing third in his heat behind Shaun Hargreaves (8m) and Nathan Riali (8.5m).

Brendan won the Queanbeyan Gift as a 17-year-old in 2008, while Jesse, 31, saw his chance cruelly slip away last year when he tore his hamstring in the final.

''I got halfway down the track and was snipered from somewhere, and laid up on the ground with a busted hammy,'' Jesse said.

''It was a little bit unfortunate.

''I look forward to the challenge of running against Brendan if it works out that way.

''Hopefully, being the older, bigger, more sensible and better-looking brother, I should come home with the goods.''

His humour well and truly intact, Jesse will use his background as a 400-metre runner to remain relaxed as the back-markers gain ground in the final stages of the race.

Younger sibling Brendan is on the comeback trail after having had a groin operation at the start of the year.

A finalist at the Stawell Gift in 2009 and 2010, Brendan has set his sights on making another charge at the iconic footrace.

''I've made the final there and had a bit of bad luck, so I would like to have a good run there,'' he said.

''I've had a few injuries, a lifestyle change and full-time work.

''I'm slowly getting back and doing all the rehab.''

More than $40,000 is on offer for the Queanbeyan Gift in the expanded two-day format.

Sydney youngster Ella Nelson (4m) will be among the leading contenders in the women's gift after posting the fastest time of 13.88 seconds.

Olympic Games representatives Melissa Breen (scratch) and Lauren Boden (3m) both qualified for the semi-finals, finishing third and second in their respective heats on the day.

The women's final is at 2.15pm on Sunday, followed by the men's final at 2.30pm.

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