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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Kim Collins attempting to be oldest ever

Kim Collins attempting to be oldest ever

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1 Kim Collins attempting to be oldest ever on Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:29 pm

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Stawell Times
21 Apr, 2011


STAWELL - The 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins will attempt to become just the third man in 130 editions of Australia's richest and most famous footrace to win from the mark of honour.

Following the release of handicaps the speedster from the tiny Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis has been handed the scratch mark.

In a further boost to the event, the Stawell Athletic Club has announced that this year's event will boast record prize money of $126,500 with the rise made possible due to increased athlete entries, sponsorship and government support.

The 156 strong field for the Australia Post Stawell Gift includes 155 men and one woman, reigning Australian 100m champion Melissa Breen, who has been handed the limit mark of 11 metres.

Collins, who celebrated his 35th birthday last week, is seeking to become the oldest ever winner to salute at Central Park.

Currently the oldest winner is one of the most famous and celebrated victories, with Scotsman George McNeil prevailing at his eighth attempt in the Centenary Gift in 1981 - he was 34.

Reigning Australian 100m champion Aaron Rouge-Serret (1.25m) and 2009 Gift finalist Matt Davies (1.75m) will return to Central Park to try their luck in the Gift, while three of the nation's top one-lappers - reigning national 400m champion Ben Offereins (4.5m), Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist Kevin Moore (5.25m) and Australian 400m hurdles champion Brendan Cole (6m) - will also attempt to etch their name into the record books.

Last year's winner Tom Burbidge (5m) has been pulled back 3.75m after taking home the $40,000 winner's cheque.

The Canberra based athlete is joined by four other former champions - 2009 winner Aaron Stubbs (4.75m), 2006 winner Adrian Mott (4.75m), 1997 winner Daniel Millard (11m) and 1999 winner Rodney Mathews (11m) who is one of the oldest men in the field at 42 years of age.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist and arm amputee Simon Patmore will start from 8m.

Australia Post Stawell Gift promoter, David Culbert said the handicap limit for the $60,000 event was extended to 11 metres this year, by agreement with both the Stawell Athletic Club and the Victorian Athletic League, in an effort to increase entry numbers in the Gift.

"We are pleased to see that Gift entry numbers have increased by 11 percent this year, after a number of years of declining entries," Culbert said.

"The national titles have provided the perfect lead up for Australia's best athletes."

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