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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Keilor Gift returns with big names ready to race

Keilor Gift returns with big names ready to race

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Gift returns with big names ready to race

By Damien Ractliffe
Brimbank Leader
10th Feb 2015


AFTER a year off, the Keilor Gift is back for its 64th running at Keilor Sports Ground this Saturday.

The event, first held in 1933, was not run last year because of major renovations at the sports ground by Brimbank Council.

But the short- term pain was all for long-term gain, said event manager Hayden Kelly.

“The surface of the Keilor Oval is now the equal to any in Melbourne and the club is looking forward to a great Keilor Gift Carnival,” Kelly said.

Some big names will assemble for Saturday’s two main events: the Keilor Gift and the Billie Jo Petersen Memorial (women’s Gift).

“Danielle McDowell, who is currently leading in the athlete of the year award with several wins and places, will be a highlight and is expected to go very close to winning the prestigious Billie Jo Petersen Memorial Event,” Kelly said.

“Paul Tancredi, a past winner of the Keilor Gift, has already won the Rye Gift this year and will be right in contention to win his second Keilor Gift.
“Three runners from Scotland, the home of professional athletics, are venturing to Keilor.

“Graeme Armstrong, Wallace McGowan and John Thompson are all winners in Australia and Armstrong has made the final in every event he has contested Down Under.”

The day will include a woodchopping program, which will be headlined by world champ Glen Gillam.

“Gillam has won two world championships and has represented Australia on several occasions but he is arguably coming to Keilor off his biggest triumph,” Kelly said.

“Two weeks ago, Gillam pocketed a cool $50,000 for beating the 50-year-old record for the 300mm standing block. Clayton Stewart, father of the Keilor woodchop organiser Garry Stewart, had clocked 13.7 seconds in 1965.

“Gillam went to Latrobe in Tasmania and it’s fair to say he smashed the record, cutting through the log in a mere 12 blows in a time of 12.12 secs.

“Ironically the bounty was provided by another of Clayton Stewart’s sons, Errol.”

Kelly said aside from sporting action, the day would also include carnival rides and a fireworks display, kicking off at noon.

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