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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Melissa Breen running in the Stawell Gift

Melissa Breen running in the Stawell Gift

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1 Melissa Breen running in the Stawell Gift on Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:22 pm



Breen to race the men in Gift

ABC On Line News
Posted April 5, 2011 13:23:00

Reigning Australian 100 metres champion Melissa Breen will aim to become the first woman to advance from the heats of the Stawell Gift over the Easter weekend.

Breen will become only the fifth female athlete to compete in the famous handicap event, following in the footsteps of Nicole Coughlin (1988), Cathy Freeman (1995), Nigerian Gloria Kemasoude (2002) and Lauren Hewitt (2004), all of whom started off the backmark of 10m. (front mark)

Breen, 20, is coached by Matt Beckenham, whose stable includes last year's Gift winner Tom Burbidge.

"It's going to be a bit of fun and that's what the pros are all about," Breen said.

"In the women's Gift I'll be starting off scratch, but in the men's Gift I'll be the little bunny rabbit out in front and they'll all be chasing me down.

"I reckon the boys will swamp me in the last 10m of the race.

"I reckon I'll be good for 100m, and then there will be a swamping for sure.

"I could make the semis, I'm not as good on the grass as I am on the track, but it's a good chance for me to practise all the things I've been doing at training."

Breen will start from the backmark of either 11m or 12m in the 130th edition of the Stawell Gift.

April shapes as a big month for the Canberra-based Breen, who will defend her national 100m title at the Australian championships in Melbourne from April 15-17.

In other Gift news, Simon Patmore, who stormed to victory in the T46 men's 100m for elite athletes with a disability at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has also entered the 120m race.

Patmore, 23, boasts a 100m personal best of 11.14 seconds.


2 Morpeth on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:34 am

Arnold L

Presumably the backmark is in fact scratch, so why is a point ten metres in front of the backmark referred to as "the backmark of 10m"? Very inaccurate, illogical and unnecessarily confusing, unless Miz Breen is actually giving anyone on scratch ten metres start.

Arnold Landon, Morpeth.

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