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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Qld 's Isaac Dunmall wins 2016 Stawell Gift

Qld 's Isaac Dunmall wins 2016 Stawell Gift

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1 Qld 's Isaac Dunmall wins 2016 Stawell Gift on Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:22 am



Qld 's Isaac Dunmall wins Stawell Gift

28th March 2016

Isaac Dunmall thought he had blown his shot at Stawell Gift glory when he trailed home last in the final two years ago.

As it turned out, he got a second go on Monday and this time he grabbed it with both hands.

The 22-year-old Queenslander crashed to the turf after lunging desperately through the finishing gates, having just held off the challenge from fast-finishing Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera.

Running off a handicap of 6.75m, Dunmall clocked a winning time of 12.17 seconds, two hundredths of a second clear of Sanderson-Milera, with teenaged sprint star Jack Hale claiming third spot.

"I didn't know the meaning of speechless until now - this is unbelievable," said Dunmall.

"I got a good start and I kicked on really well.

"I saw Tjimarri coming towards me at the end of the last 20 and I was just like `hold on, hold on'.

"I wasn't sure I'd won because I knew he was coming close.

"I honestly can't put my feelings into words right now.

"I've wanted to win this race for so long, it means so much to me."

It was in sharp contrast to the 2014 final at Central Park, when Dunmall was never a factor in a race won Luke Versace.

"I thought I'd blown my chance in that race," said Dunmall.

"I thought `I'm gone, there's no way known I'm going to win a Stawell Gift now'.

"Now to come back and actually do it - that's insane.

"I was coming into this race feeling a lot more confident and a lot more energetic."

Hale clocked the fastest semi-final time of 12.22 on Monday, but was seven hundredths of a second slower in the final.

The 17-year-old set a 100m personal best of 10.31 earlier this month in Perth.

Fifteen-year-old schoolgirl Talia Martin won the women's Gift in 13.70 ahead of Tierra Exum - the sister of NBA star Dante Exum - and Sarah Blizzard.

Both Gift winners pocketed $40,000, although Martin was docked $2000 for showing rapid improvement.

She had been eliminated in the heats of the Ararat Gift only 12 days ago, a below-par performance she put down to the recent death of her aunt.

Olympian Lauren Wells claimed one of the most impressive victories of the day in the women's 400m.

Wells spotted the frontmarkers a 40m headstart but was still able to reel in the field on the final straight.

Last edited by Admin on Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:41 am; edited 1 time in total



Isaac Dunmall clinches 2016 Stawell Gift win in thrilling finish; Jack Hale third

By Scott Gullan
Herald Sun
March 28, 2016

ISAAC Dunmall thought he’d blown it.

Two years ago the Queenslander made the Stawell Gift final but finished down the track after folding on the big stage.

Those memories helped inspire the 22-year-old to the biggest victory of his career on Monday when he nailed co-favourite Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera on the line.

“I thought I’d blown my chance in that race. I thought I’m gone, there’s no way known I’m going to win a Stawell Gift now,” he said about his seventh-placed finish behind 2014 winner Luke Versace.

Isaac Dunmall celebrates winning the Stawell Gift.

“Now to come back and actually do it - that’s insane.”

Dunmall stumbled as he crossed the line in 12.17sec and initially wasn’t sure if he’d got the bob in ahead of Sanderson-Milera (12.19sec off 5.75m).

Race drawcard Jack Hale ran brilliantly from the back mark of 3.25m but the 17-year-old Tasmanian schoolboy could only grab third in 12.30sec.

After recording the second-fastest heat victory of 12.29sec off 6.75m on Saturday, Dunmall called on those memories of two years earlier as he prepared for a second chance at glory.

“That experience was invaluable, I got a lot quicker in two years,” he said.

“We didn’t do a secret trial or anything, like lots of squads do. I didn’t think it would benefit me much so I just believed in my training instead.

“In 2014 I said to the boys get around me with the bookies and I didn’t end up winning. So I learnt to be a bit more low key about it this year.

“The hype didn’t worry me much (this time), I was more focused on doing my own thing today.

“I was coming into this race feeling a lot more confident and a lot more energetic.

“I didn’t know this day would ever come - I really didn’t. This is crazy.”

Dunmall, who works in the finance industry in Brisbane, will go down as the only Gift winner to wear socks with little red fire engines on them.

“One of my training partners back up in Queensland started a silly sock day and I’ve just kept going on with the tradition,” he said.

“I do it in every race now.”



Stawell Gift 2016: Isaac Dunmall reprises past failures to pocket $40,000

By Michael Gleeson
Sydney Morning Herald
March 28, 2016

Victor: Isaac Dunmall (left) etched his name into history in winning the Stawell Gift on Monday. Photo: Getty Images

Two years ago Isaac Dunmall made the final of the Stawell Gift and his body let him down. His calves cramped up before the race and he ran a stinker. He thought you get one chance to win the Stawell Gift and his had come and gone in the tweak of a calf.

Last year he did nothing to disabuse himself of that notion when he ran poorly but on Easter Monday this year he came back and claimed the win he thought would always elude him.

"I have never known the meaning of speechless until now, this is unbelievable," Dunmall said. "I didn't know this day would ever come. I really didn't. This is just crazy. I thought I had blown my chance in that race [in 2014]. I thought 'I am gone, there is no way in the world I am going to win a Stawell Gift' but now I have come back and to actually do it, that's insane."

Dunmall won in 12.17 seconds running from 6.75 metres, ahead of Tjimarri Sanderson-Milera in 12.19s, with Tasmanian teenager Jack Hale, the backmarker in the final off 3.25m, third in 12.30s.  

Dunmall didn't know if he had held on to win the race as he threw himself through the gates at the line, both he and Sanderson-Milera sprawling to the turf past the barriers.

"I got a good start and kicked on really well. I saw Tjimarri coming towards me in the last 20 and thought just hold on, hold on. But I wasn't sure if I got there because he was getting close. I didn't know what happened. I didn't know when I had it won, that's why I dipped on the line because I wanted it so bad," the 22-year-old said.

One of the first to embrace Dunmall after he crossed the line was Luke Versace, the man who won the Stawell Gift when Dunmall finished a disappointing seventh. On that day Dunmall was one of the first to congratulate him.

"That experience in the final two years ago was invaluable," said Dunmall, who works at a financial planning firm in Brisbane.

He hopes to be able to replicate the efforts of former Gift winners Aaron Stubbs and Mitchell Williams-Swain to translate the Gift win into performances at the national level.

"I have no idea how much more I can do in the sport, but would love to do that," he said, adding that he was now working out whether he could now get starts in Sydney next weekend at the national titles

"What Williams-Swain and Stubbs did it's very promising, I have won here. Maybe I can go on and do something and compete for the country but one step at a time. I will come back after this and see what I can do."

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