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Stawell Gift winners to defend titles

2018 Stawell Gift winners Jacob Despard and Elizabeth 'EJ' Forsyth.

2018 Stawell Gift winners Jacob Despard and Elizabeth ‘EJ’ Forsyth.

Stawell Gift 2018 champions Elizabeth ‘EJ’ Forsyth and Jacob Despard have confirmed they will return to defend their titles at the historic Easter event this year.
Both will attempt to win back-to-back, a feat achieved only by Bill Howard in 1966 and 1967.
Hosted by Stawell Athletic Club, the 138th Stawell Gift Carnival is from April 20 to 22.
Despard was favourite to win the open 120-metre Open Gift last year and did not disappoint.
“I’m looking forward to coming back and experiencing my favourite meeting for the year as defending champion,” he said.
“Training is the best it’s ever been and I’m tracking to really turn the heat up on Easter Monday and defend my title.” 
The Tasmanian recorded a personal-best time of 10.40 seconds over 100 metres at a Sydney Track Classic last month. 
“I’m expecting my handicap to be a difficult ask to win from, but I believe I’ve done the work and I have definitely improved a lot since last season,” Despard said.
 “One advantage I’ll have over most of the field is having won before.
“I’ll be starting behind them and they all have to run scared knowing I’ll be coming at the end. So, I’m already in front mentally. Going back-to-back is something most winners would dream of, it would be unreal.”
Forsyth, who won last year’s Women’s Gift in only her second visit to Stawell and after a near-miss in the heats, is more used to running on sand in her home town on the Gold Coast than grass.

PHOTOS | Elizabeth Forsyth and Jacob Despard are the 2018 Stawell Gift champions

The World Surf Lifesaving sprint beach-flags champion said her training had been going well.
“It has been a pretty long season for me but I’m super excited to be heading back down to Stawell again this year,” she said.
“I made some very special memories that Easter Monday and winning the Stawell Gift was such an incredible feeling that I will hold with me forever.
“I love the atmosphere at Central Park and I can’t wait to experience it again.”
The carnival includes three days of activities and entertainment.
There will be fashions on the field on Easter Saturday with cash prize money and gifts up for grabs.
Easter Sunday is the event’s Family Day with a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt headlining a schedule of child-friendly activities.
Tickets are available online at

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Posted on Mar 27 2019

Posted by on Mar 27 2019. Filed under FEATURED, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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