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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Mitchell Williams wins the Stawell Gift - News articles

Mitchell Williams wins the Stawell Gift - News articles

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http://www.theage.com.au/sport/hamstrung-williams-wins-stawell-gift-20110426-1dupr.html


Mitchell Williams (far right) stumbles across the finish line to win
the Stawell Gift. Photo: Joe Armao


Hamstrung Williams wins Stawell Gift
By Adam Cooper
The Age
April 26, 2011


Queensland beach sprinter Mitchell Williams has proven his worth on grass by winning the 130th edition of the Stawell Gift.

Williams tore his hamstring in the dying stages of the famous foot race, but lunged at the line to pip New South Wales runner Ed Ware and win in a time of 12.11.

Williams, who pockets $40,000 and a place in Australian sprinting history, was unsure if he had won the race when he collapsed after crossing the line and punching the turf.

Advertisement: Story continues below "I knew I'd pulled my hamstring by then and I didn't know if I'd got there or not. It was a hard race," he said.

"The hamstring went over the last five metres, but I thought 'I've got to push through' and I just got through there at the end."

Ware entered the final as the quickest of the semi-final winners, and recorded a time of 12.13 in the final.

Another Queenslander, Andrew McCabe, was third in 12.17, while pre-race favourite Ben Weaver, from Mt Eliza, was fourth in a time of 12.21.

Williams dedicated his victory to his mother, who is battling cancer.

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http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/04/26/3200634.htm


Mitchell Williams won the race despite tearing a hamstring in the final stages.

Williams wins Stawell Gift
ABC News
Tue Apr 26, 2011


Queenslander Mitch Williams tore his hamstring in the closing strides of a dramatic Stawell Gift final on Tuesday and then dedicated the victory to his mother, who is battling cancer.

The 19-year-old collapsed to the Central Park turf in agony after crossing the line in 12.18 seconds, just one hundredth of a second clear of frontmarker Ed Ware from Sydney.

Williams, who made his name as a beach sprinter representing Currumbin Surf Lifesaving Club, has a long history of hamstring problems and coach Brett Robinson felt sick to the stomach when his man pulled up sore after winning his semi-final.

But the tendon held together long enough for him to claim the victory and the $40,000 first prize.

"I knew it was tight coming in but I had to run so I just pushed as hard as I could and it just made it," said Williams.

"Probably five or 10 metres out I felt it and then it just went 'doop' and it was gone, but it was a good run until then."

Williams also damaged the hamstring in his only other competition of of 2011, a beach run back in January.

But he was feeling no pain on Tuesday, with a big celebration in the offing.

On a more serious note, he dedicated the triumph in the 130th edition of the famous 120m handicap event to his mother Karen Swain, who is in hospital on the Gold Coast.

"Mum is in chemo now so hopefully in a couple of months she will be free of it," said Williams, who works as a personal trainer.

"I pretty much dedicated it to her for the weekend, just to have a good run and do it for her."

Williams changed coaches three months ago, leaving 1984 Olympic heptathlon champion Glynis Nunn to hook up with Robinson, who has been coming to Stawell for 13 years and was second to Adrian Mott in the 2006 Gift final.

"Mitch came to me fit and I knew he was fast," said Robinson.

"I had been around him for a long time, he has been a part of the surf club program so I knew him very well.

"Pretty much in the end I was just applying speed until his hammy started to play up.

"Every fourth week his hammy would strain and we'd lay back for a week.

"And this is the fifth week, so we had a really easy week."

Having been run out in the heats off a mark of 7m on his only previous visit to Stawell as a teenager back in 2009, Robinson was surprised that Williams was not given a more generous handicap than 6.5m this time around.

He was rated a $26 chance with the bookmakers before Saturday's heats and had firmed to third favouritism at $5.50 before the final behind Ware and eventual fourth placegetter Ben Weaver (both $2.75).

Queenslander Andrew McCabe finished third in the final in 12.23 off the backmark of 6.25m.

All of the big-name amateur runners, including 2003 100m world champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, Aaron Rouge-Serret and John Steffensen, were eliminated in the semi-finals.

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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/injured-mitch-williams-takes-stawell-glory/story-e6frfglf-1226045057112


Mitchell Williams is all smiles with the Stawell Gift trophy.
Picture: Stephen Harman Source: Herald Sun


Hamstrung hero Mitchell Williams dedicates Stawell Gift win to cancer-stricken mother
By Scott Gullan
Herald-Sun
26 April 2011


STAWELL Gift winner Mitchell Williams has dedicated his dramatic victory to his cancer-stricken mother.
Despite tearing his hamstring with 5m to go and almost hitting the finishing gates, the 19-year-old took out Australia's famous footrace by just .01sec from favourite Edward Ware.

Williams was $26 before Saturday's heats but started the final as third favourite at $5.50.

He crashed to the Central Park turf immediately after crossing the line and punched the ground - unsure if he'd won.

But the photo-finish went his way and the celebrations began for the former junior beach sprint champion.

"It's definitely very important," Williams said. "I would just like to thank my mum because I hope she gets better as she's got cancer, so this is for her pretty much."

The teenager, who runs his own personal training business, lives with his mother, Karen Swain, at his grandparents' house in Tweed Heads.

"She is in chemo now so hopefully in a couple of months she will be free of it," Williams said. "I pretty much dedicated it to her for the weekend, just to have a good run and do it for her.

"I spoke to her this morning. She was pretty happy I got through and just wished me luck."

Williams' coach Brett Robinson, a former runner-up at Stawell, said the $40,000 winner's cheque would go a long way to helping the family cope with trying circumstances.

"I paid for his trip down here because I didn't want him to worry about money or home or anything like that," Robinson said.

"He's done a lot under the circumstances. He runs his own business, he's a personal trainer and he's doing it all off his own back. He's helping out at home financially and this will go a long way to helping him."

Williams' biggest danger in his second Stawell trip - he missed out in the 2009 heats - were his hamstrings, which he felt tighten in the semi-finals.

"I knew it was tight coming in but I had to run so I just pushed as hard as I could and made it just," he said.

"Probably 5m out I felt it and then it just went 'doop'. I punched the ground because of my hamstring ... I knew it was close. I didn't know I had won."

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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/sport/mitchell-williams-stalls-pain-long-enough-to-win-stawell-gift/story-e6frg7mf-1226045091025


Mitchell Williams crashes to the ground after pulling a hamstring in winning the Stawell Gift Source: Getty Images

Mitchell Williams stalls pain long enough to win Stawell Gift
From: AAP
The Australian
April 26, 2011


YOUNG Queenslander Mitchell Williams has held on to win the 130th edition of the Stawell Gift despite tearing a hamstring in the closing strides.

The 19-year-old collapsed to the Central Park turf in agony after crossing the line in 12.18 seconds, just one hundredth of a second clear of frontmarker Ed Ware from Sydney.

Williams, who made his name as a beach sprinter representing Currumbin Surf Lifesaving Club, has a long history of hamstring problems and coach Brett Robinson felt sick to the stomach when his man pulled up sore after winning his semi-final.

But the tendon held together long enough for him to claim the victory and the $40,000 first prize and later dedicated his win to mother, who is battling cancer.

“I knew it was tight coming in but I had to run so I just pushed as hard as I could and it just made it,” said Williams.

“Probably five or 10 metres out I felt it and then it just went 'doop' and it was gone, but it was a good run until then.”

Williams also damaged the hamstring in his only other competition of of 2011, a beach run back in January.

He dedicated the triumph in the 130th edition of the famous 120m handicap event to his mother Karen Swain, who is in hospital on the Gold Coast.

“Mum is in chemo now so hopefully in a couple of months she will be free of it,” said Williams, who works as a personal trainer.

“I pretty much dedicated it to her for the weekend, just to have a good run and do it for her.”

Williams changed coaches three months ago, leaving 1984 Olympic heptathlon champion Glynis Nunn to hook up with Robinson, who has been coming to Stawell for 13 years and was second to Adrian Mott in the 2006 Gift final.

“Mitch came to me fit and I knew he was fast,” said Robinson.

“I had been around him for a long time, he has been a part of the surf club program so I knew him very well.

“Pretty much in the end I was just applying speed until his hammy started to play up.

“Every fourth week his hammy would strain and we'd lay back for a week.

“And this is the fifth week, so we had a really easy week.”

Having been run out in the heats off a mark of 7m on his only previous visit to Stawell as a teenager back in 2009, Robinson was surprised that Williams was not given a more generous handicap than 6.5m this time around.

He was rated a $26 chance with the bookmakers before Saturday's heats and had firmed to third favouritism at $5.50 before the final behind Ware and eventual fourth placegetter Ben Weaver (both $2.75).

Queenslander Andrew McCabe finished third in the final in 12.23 off the backmark of 6.25m.

All of the big-name runners, including 2003 100m world champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, Aaron Rouge-Serret and John Steffensen, were eliminated in the semi-finals.

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http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/04/27/310861_gold-coast-sport.html


Gold Coaster Mitch Williams tears a hamstring and
crashes to the ground as he wins the Stawell Gift
at Central Park yesterday. Pic: Getty Images.


Williams tears away in Stawell Gift
By Emma Greenwood
Gold Coast News
April 27th, 2011


MITCHELL Williams knew his hamstring "wasn't right" when he lined up for the final of Australia's most prestigious footrace yesterday.

But rather than focus on the likelihood of suffering a tear to the muscle that has given him so much grief, the Tweed Heads sprinter elected to push the envelope, believing a strong start would give him a great chance of snaring the $40,000 winner's cheque in the Stawell Gift.

He was right. But it took a photo-finish to declare the Currumbin Surf Club member the winner after he tore his hamstring only metres from the line and had to hope he had been able to hang on before crashing to the ground in agony.

"I was a bit worried (when it happened) but I wanted to push through strongly to the line," Mitchell said.

Second back-marker off 6.5m, Williams reeled the competition in and looked a certain winner before tearing his hamstring and crashing through the gates. But he was eventually judged the winner by 0.01sec in a photo from front-marker Edward Ware.

"I knew it wasn't 100 per cent," said Williams, who had firmed to third favourite at $5.50 behind Ware and eventual fourth placegetter Ben Weaver (both $2.75) by yesterday's final after opening at $26 with bookmakers before the heats.

"I tore it about 10m out and was in a lot of pain. I'm hobbling around now and it's definitely a painful celebration."

The 19-year-old dedicated the win to his mother, Karen Swain, who is in hospital on the Coast battling cancer.

"Mum is in chemo now so hopefully in a couple of months she will be free of it," said Williams.

Williams competed in junior beach sprinting competition as Williams-Swain and is well known in surf lifesaving ranks as "Swainy". Williams missed the Australian surf lifesaving championships at Kurrawa earlier this month because he did not have enough patrol hours to compete but coach Brett Robinson said it may have helped, rather than hindered, his preparation.

"It's probably a godsend because I don't think his hamstring would have held up," Robinson said.

"It's definitely a big achievement for me," Mitchell said.

Mitchell's win capped a great day for Gold Coast beach sprinters at Stawell, with Kurrawa's Melissa Howard running to victory in the women's Gift.

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http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/more-sports/queensland-sprinter-mitchell-williams-wins-2011-stawell-gift/story-e6frey6i-1226045155668


Torn apart: Mitchell Williams crashes to the ground after he pulled a hamstring just before the finish of the 2011 Australia Post Stawell Gift. Picture: Stephen Harman Source: The Daily Telegraph

Queensland sprinter Mitchell Williams wins 2011 Stawell Gift
By John Salvado
Daily Telegraph
April 26, 2011


QUEENSLANDER Mitch Williams tore his hamstring in act of winning a dramatic Stawell Gift final today and then dedicated the victory to his mother, who is battling cancer.
The 19-year-old collapsed to the Central Park turf in agony after crossing the line in 12.18 seconds, just one hundredth of a second clear of frontmarker Ed Ware from Sydney.

Williams, who made his name as a beach sprinter representing Currumbin Surf Lifesaving Club, has a long history of hamstring problems and coach Brett Robinson felt sick to the stomach when his man pulled up sore after winning his semi-final.

But the tendon held together long enough for him to claim the victory and the $40,000 first prize.

"I knew it was tight coming in but I had to run so I just pushed as hard as I could and it just made it,'' said Williams.

"Probably five or 10 metres out I felt it and then it just went 'doop' and it was gone, but it was a good run until then.''

Williams also damaged the hamstring in his only other competition of of 2011, a beach run back in January.

"But he was feeling no pain on Tuesday, with a big celebration in the offing.

On a more serious note, he dedicated the triumph in the 130th edition of the famous 120m handicap event to his mother Karen Swain, who is in hospital on the Gold Coast.

"Mum is in chemo now so hopefully in a couple of months she will be free of it,'' said Williams, who works as a personal trainer.

"I pretty much dedicated it to her for the weekend, just to have a good run and do it for her.''

Williams changed coaches three months ago, leaving 1984 Olympic 400m hurdles champion Glynis Nunn to hook up with Robinson, who has been coming to Stawell for 13 years and was second to Adrian Mott in the 2006 Gift final.

"Mitch came to me fit and I knew he was fast,'' said Robinson.

"I had been around him for a long time, he has been a part of the surf club program so I knew him very well.

"Pretty much in the end I was just applying speed until his hammy started to play up.

"Every fourth week his hammy would strain and we'd lay back for a week.

"And this is the fifth week, so we had a really easy week.''

Having been run out in the heats off a mark of 7m on his only previous visit to Stawell as a teenager back in 2009, Robinson was surprised that Williams was not given a more generous handicap than 6.5m this time around.

He was rated a $26 chance with the bookmakers before Saturday's heats and had firmed to third favouritism at $5.50 before the final behind Ware and eventual fourth placegetter Ben Weaver (both $2.75).

Queenslander Andrew McCabe finished third in the final in 12.23 off the backmark of 6.25m.

All of the big-name amateur runners, including 2003 100m world champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, Aaron Rouge-Serret and John Steffensen, were eliminated in the semi-finals.

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http://www.stawelltimes.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/from-sand-to-grass/2145162.aspx?storypage=0

From sand to grass

BY AIDEN LEE
Stawell Times-News
26 Apr, 2011


Beach sprinter Mitchell Williams made a winning transition from sand to grass yesterday by taking out the 2011 Australia Post Stawell Gift.

The nineteen year-old Queenslander made history by taking home the $40,000 winner's cheque, however it wasn't without a drama filled finish.

It seems drama follows Williams after missing out on competing in the national surf championships.

Williams was denied entry into the Australian surf championships after failing to complete enough patrol hours.

Closer to home, the star athlete dedicated his weekend at Stawell to his mother who is battling cancer.

"I'd just like to thank my mum for being there and I hope she gets better. I was hoping to have a good run and do it for her, which I did," he said.

After his semi final win Williams said it was great to put a good run together, after running 12.23 seconds, however he wasn't to know an hour later he would be a Stawell Gift champion.

Running in the white silk off 6.5 metres, Williams entered the race with a tight hamstring, knowing it could tear at anytime.

"I knew it was tight coming into the race but I had to run so I just pushed as hard as I could," Williams said.

The personal trainer burst off the blocks but found the going tough early.

Leaving his run late, Williams put the challenge to front marker Edward Ware.

In a final bid for the line the Brett Robinson trained Williams hit the front with 15 metres remaining, however his hamstring gave way only a few strides from glory.

Falling across the line in pain, Williams was picked up by fellow stable mates as he was crowned Stawell's new champion ahead of Ware and Andrew McCabe, running a time of 12.18.

"The hamstring went in the last five to 10 metres so I just tried to push through and made it, but only just."

"I've done it a couple of times so that's what I'll be working on now over the off-season, building that up and making it stronger.

"I was going to give up racing for a while because of it, but that's when I joined Brett (Robinson)."

Williams, who has been a beach sprinter most of his life, only took up track racing last year and training under Robinson three months ago.

The Australia Post Stawell Gift trophy will sit nicely along the mantle piece with a number of other Australian titles, however this is the first on grass for the teenager.

"We have a heap of races on sand during the year which gives you a lot more power when you hit these kind of tracks," he said.

Competing for the first time at Stawell as a seventeen year-old in 2009, Williams said the feeling is definitely 'numb' and 'surreal'.

When asked what he'll be doing with his big pay cheque he said jokingly "I might have to throw a party. There'll be plenty of beers and ice going on that's for sure."

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