By TIM O'CONNOR
03 Jan, 2011
THE emotion-stirring sound of the bagpipes provided the inspiration for Tamara Hamond's victory in the women's necklace final, 120m, on Saturday.
The 29-year-old drew on memories of her grandfather in the moments leading up to the race, and then charged over the field from her 3.75m backmark to narrowly defeat Samantha Sammut (13.5m) and Ballarat's Narelle Lehmann (8.5m) in a time of 14.72sec.
Fellow Ballarat runner Jacqui Watt (9m) finished fourth.
Hamond said the victory was a memorable one for many reasons.
"My grandpa played the bagpipes. He passed away about 15 years ago, and I actually thought about him before the race, so I think that helped me cross the line," Hamond said.
"I heard the bagpipes before the race started and that meant a lot to me."
Hamond, who hails from Essendon, rated the triumph alongside her 400m victory at the Stawell Gift carnival in 2009 and her efforts in last year's national titles in Perth, where she narrowly missed reaching the 200m final.
"I really love this event and I set to try and do my best and make a final. It was a bonus to make the final. I was saying that to myself before the race started - it was fantastic just to be there," she said.
"In the semi-final I didn't get such a good start, so I was really focused on the start (in the final), and trying to hold my form and give it all I had for the last 40m.
"About 20 to 30 metres to go I could see myself drawing on people and I didn't actually realise I'd won until after I'd crossed the line. It became a bit of a blur."