Noble Park sprinter ready for the Stawell Gift
By Gilbert Gardiner
18 April 2011
NOBLE Park North sprinter Matthew Eddy is primed for the race of his life.
The 30-year-old tradesman turned runner will compete in this Easter’s Stawell Gift, his fifth crack at Australia’s richest and oldest foot race.
Returning from a debilitating achilles injury, the three-time Stawell Gift semi-finalist ran a season best 12.41 at a meet in Bendigo in February.
“If I run that I’ll go close to getting into the final,” he said.
“I can run quicker, that’s for sure.”
At just 58kg, Eddy is one of the lightest sprinters in the state and has mid-to-end race speed to trouble the “bigger” runners.
“The powerful blokes get out of the blocks a bit quicker but I’ve got a fair bit of leg speed to come home with,” he said.
Eddy trains daily, doing sprint and strength work.
“It will be a dream come true to make the final. It’s what you run for - to make the final will be huge,” he said.
This year’s 130th running of the Gift final has been changed from Easter Monday to the Tuesday to avoid a clash with Anzac Day.
Reigning Australian 100m champion Melissa Breen is also entered in the grass classic, taking on the men.
“It will be hard for her, personally I think she’ll struggle to get out of her heat,” Eddy said. “In the women’s Gift she’ll go really well, in the men’s I think she’ll struggle.”
Eddy is also entered in the 70m and 200m sprints.
Other local athletes at the meet include Matthew Harvey of Keysborough and Noble Park’s Fabrice Melanie, both entered in the Stawell Gift, 70m and 200m sprints.