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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Lewis Family's proud history with Olympic Park

Lewis Family's proud history with Olympic Park

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Tamsyn Lewis and her dad Greg have a proud history at Olympic Park. Picture: Michael Klein Source: Herald Sun.

Lewis family history runs deep
By Ron Reed
Herald Sun
April 13, 2011

TAMSYN Lewis hopes to be the last athlete to win a championship race at the spiritual home of Australian athletics, Olympic Park.

That's an honour that wouldn't be undeserved.

She and her family have been fixtures at the famous old track for the best part of 50 years, and carved out some serious competitive history there.

The national titles and world championship selection trials this weekend will be the last meet before the sport moves to its new home in Albert Park, and the women's 400m will be the final event.

Lewis hopes to win the 800m and 400m double and take her total of national titles to 17, one of which was in the 400m hurdles.

Almost 33, she is aiming to make it to her fourth Olympics in London next year, with the elusive 800m final her target.

Her father Greg Lewis won six national titles over 100m and 200m in the '60s and '70s and reached the semi-final of the 200m at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968.

Her mother Carolyn Wright won seven national titles in the high jump and competed at the 1962 Commonwealth Games, while her brother and current coach Justin was a handy sprinter.

Tamsyn, who first ran at Olympic Park in a 70m race at the primary school sports in 1987, took her dad back yesterday to reminisce.

Greg complained about the wind making it difficult for sprinters, though former 10,000m and marathon star Steve Moneghetti said it was the best track in Australia for distance running.

"It was a slog for us," Greg said.

Tamsyn said it would be a "real honour" to run the final event, which will be followed by an opportunity for all runners, officials and spectators to run a lap of their own as an appropriate closing ceremony.

"I'm really looking forward to it, but my only concern is that the 400 is a pretty tough race and there could be eight girls collapsed on the track and everybody will have to hurdle them," she laughed.

Another Olympic Park veteran, distance star Craig Mottram will run in the 1500m and not his specialty, the 5000m, at the weekend.

"It's a good opportunity to train, nothing more than that," he said.

Mottram, who has spent the best part of two years recovering from achilles problems after a disappointing Beijing Olympics, finished 23rd at the cross-country world championships in Spain recently.

Having aimed at top 30, he was pleased with that result, which came on the back of a competitive 5000m in 13.25.15 - five seconds better than he expected - at Olympic Park early last month. He is optimistic he will be back in top shape by the worlds.

"My race fitness is coming, I'm in one piece, mentally relaxed and enjoying my running," he said.

"I'm enjoying every day of training and the results will come - it's not if, it's when."

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