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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Brendan Matthews hamstring OK

Brendan Matthews hamstring OK

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1 Brendan Matthews hamstring OK on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:15 am



Matthew's hamstring OK for Stawell
Canberra Times
26 Apr, 2011

Brendan Matthews is confident a hamstring problem won't stop him from making his third consecutive Stawell Gift final today.

The Canberra runner will have a 6m head start over former world champion Kim Collins, of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, in his semi-final for the historic 120m race.

Both Lauren Boden and Melissa Breen have made the semis in the Women's Gift.

Boden won her heat, while Breen got through because of her fast time.

Matthews (6m mark) said Victorian Kevin Brittain (7.25m) and Collins (scratch) were the two to beat in his semi, which also contains training partner Stephen Sheppard (8.25m).

''Making the semis is a feat in itself and I've looked at who I'm lining up against and it's pretty open, all the semi-finals are pretty open,'' Matthews said.

''I am confident but last year would've been a bit easier semi draw to what I've got tomorrow.''

He said Collins, who won the 100m sprint at the 2003 Paris World Championships, looked ''pretty impressive'' and it was an honour to race against him.

''It'll be amazing tomorrow to run against him,'' the 19-year-old said.

''He is the drawcard of the event and to be in his semi, everyone's going to have their eyes on that race.

''I feel quite humble to run next to him, it should be fun.''

Matthews also entered the 70m and 200m events at Stawell but withdrew to concentrate on the Gift because of a persistent hamstring problem.

The former Australian under-18 400m champion doesn't think it will affect his Stawell campaign, but it had impacted on his season.

''It's [the season] gone pretty well,'' he said.

''The latest victory I've had was the Bendigo Black Opal 400m Gift [on March 13], that's been the highlight of this season.

''Just with my hammie ... I've focused more on the 400s this year.

''I qualified for nationals last weekend but didn't go as well as I'd like.''

After Stawell, Matthews will compete in next weekend's Ballarat Gift, the second-richest gift in the country.

Matthews tipped Queenslanders Andrew McCabe (6.25m) and Mitchell Williams (6.5m) to claim Australian professional sprinting's top prize.

''I watched them run in the heats and they looked very impressive,'' he said.

''I think both those guys are beach sprinters so they were very strong.''

McCabe is now coached by two-time Olympian Paul Di Bella, who in turn still receives regular feedback from his former coach and mentor Cliff Mallett, a highly respected coach in Australian sprinting.

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