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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Morgan Mitchell back to defend her Devonport Gift title during the Christmas Carnivals series

Morgan Mitchell back to defend her Devonport Gift title during the Christmas Carnivals series

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http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/5083096/morgan-mitchell-back-to-defend-her-devonport-gift-title/?cs=10

Morgan Mitchell back to defend her Devonport Gift title during the Christmas Carnivals series


By Alex Fair
27 November 2017
The Advocate




Another of the the stars of the Australian athletics scene will be spending their post- December 25 period on the North-West Coast with confirmation that sprint sensation Morgan Mitchell will again be on the starting line during this year’s Christmas Carnivals series.

The Olympic and Commonwealth Games representative is no stranger to the series, having taken out last year’s Latrobe and Devonport gifts and was second behind Morgan Gaffney in the Burnie Gift on New Year’s Day.

She will be part of the action in Devonport again, looking to defender her 400m gift title.

"I loved competing in Tassie last year, the people were so nice and the atmosphere was great," the Victorian said on Monday.

Like Sydney’s Josh Ralph, the 23-year-old openly admits the series will act as important preparation for April’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where she again will tackle her favoured distance of 400m on the big stage.

"This is a stepping stone for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, my main focus at the moment is to get fitter and faster and to try and secure my spot on the team,"  the 23-year-old said.

The three-time national 400m champion has been a regular in Australian teams since the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she made the semi-finals in the individual 400m and was a member of the 4 x 400m team that placed fourth in the final.  

She also made an individual semi-final at the Rio Olympics, along with a relay final.  

She has also climbed to number eight on the all time rankings for Australian 400m runners and this was a member of the 4 x 400m team that made the final at the world championships in London.

"This is a stepping stone for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, my main focus at the moment is to get fitter and faster and to try and secure my spot on the team," she said of the games on the Gold Coast in April.

Devonport Athletic club vice-president Rod Walker said it was a thrill to have Mitchell again compete at the city’s carnival on Saturday, December 30.

"Having Morgan coming back to Devonport again shows how important the carnivals are for our Commonwealth Games athletes,’’ he said.

“Everyone has not stopped talking about the incredible performance last year in the Devonport Gift.

“Morgan I am sure will be in as good as shape as last year and we all remember what Cathy Freeman (one of Mitchell’s idols) did after winning the Devonport Gift.”

Mitchell will bring with her five members of her training squad, who are all familiar faces on the athletics scene.

That group will consist of Ash Whittaker (2014 Commonwealth Games representative who has a PB of 11.43sec in the 100m) Will Johns (2016 Devonport Gift champion and Victorian 400m champion), Matt De Bruin (2014 World Junior 110m Hurdles semi-finalist), Harry Kimpton Moss (bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Youth Games 400m hurdles) and Rory Plant  (2017 Burnie Gift finalist).

Whittaker will contest the Burnie Gift, while all men from the squad will race in both Devonport and Burnie.

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