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Soggy Success: Athletes Brave Wild Weather to Win Stawell Gift Amid Rain Delay



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In a remarkable display of athleticism and resilience, athletes at the Stawell Gift Carnival conquered challenging weather conditions to emerge victorious in the annual event. Notably, Chloe Mannix-Power and Jack Lacey showcased their prowess in the midst of a rain delay, ultimately claiming the top honors in their respective events.

Following a disruption caused by torrential rain and lightning, all races at the 142nd running of the carnival were paused for over two hours. However, the action resumed with the fiercely contested finals – the prestigious Powercor Stawell Gift and the Change Our Game Women’s Gift.

23-year-old Mannix-Power, hailing from the Gold Coast, demonstrated exceptional speed to clinch the $40,000 prize in the Change Our Game Women’s Gift, clocking a winning time of 13:417. Meanwhile, in the Powercor Stawell Gift, Lacey, guided by coach Nick Fiedler, triumphed with a time of 12:272.

The adidas Invitational Handicap featured a thrilling clash between Australian middle-distance star Peter Bol, rising talents like Riley Bryce and Michael Ryde, adding further excitement to the event. The competition was fierce, with Bryce narrowly edging out Bol in a captivating finish.

Additional highlights of the day included remarkable performances by athletes such as Halle Martin, who secured her first Stawell sash in the SYPAQ Lorraine Donnan 400m Handicap, and young talent Dashiel ‘Dash’ Muir, who capitalized on a leader’s fall to triumph in the Stawell Gold Mines Bill McManus Backmarkers 400m.

Despite persistent rain throughout the day, officials worked diligently to ensure the smooth running of the event. Notable sprints like the Dalkeith Computer Solutions Hank Neil Masters Handicap 100m saw competitors like Aaron Downs showcasing their speed and skill.

While some races, including the prestigious Furphy Chris Perry Memorial Backmarkers Invitational Handicap 120m, were canceled due to the adverse weather, the dedication and spirit of the athletes shone through, making the Stawell Gift Carnival a true testament to sportsmanship and grit.

Rachel Adams

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