Bendigo 800m quinella
By NATHAN DOLE
15 Mar, 2011
BENDIGO’S Brady Threlfall and Cody Williamson celebrated a home town quinella in Saturday night’s Ray Foley Memorial 800m athletics classic at the Bendigo International Madison.
Although most of his victories have been at the 1500m distance and above, Threlfall showed plenty of power and sprinting ability in the two-lap dash.
Williamson continued his great comeback to the track by passing many rivals on the home straight to be runner-up.
As the bell sounded, Sean Quilty (64m) and Andrew Curran (48) led the way, with Threlfall (26m) in fifth place, but moving forward rapidly.
Dominic Hoskins (20m) raced to the front approaching the WIN Television scoreboard.
It then became a dogged battle between Hoskins and Threlfall.
Watched by about 15 family members who were perched on the home straight, Threlfall hit the front at the top of the straight before Hoskins surged through.
Threlfall held his nerve and more importantly momentum to win the dash to the post ahead of Williamson (30) and Mark Andrews (24) as Hoskins slipped to eighth in the nine-man field.
A primary schoolteacher in Echuca, Threlfall was rapt to have won at another madison carnival.
He won the backmarkers mile (1600m) in Bendigo two years ago, but last season was rocked by an ankle injury.
“This is a significant win for me,” Threlfall said.
“The 800m is not my strongest distance, but I was keen to have a go at it.”
Threlfall’s success on the VAL circuit this summer meant he was off 45m for last night’s backmarkers 1600m.
His nearest opponent was training partner Josh Nolan on the 75m mark.
“I thought the 800 would be my best chance of a win and the race I could be most competitive in this weekend,” said Threlfall.
The talented athlete thanked trainers John Burke and Neil Macdonald for their work, and also gave special mention to training partners Williamson, Nolan and Stacy Fiske, who capped his first madison carnival by reaching the novice 400m final.
Williamson was runner-up in the 800m at Bendigo two years ago.
“It’s great to be back racing again,” Williamson said of fighting back from a foot stress fracture and knee surgery in the past 18 months.
A third-year physiotherapy student at La Trobe University Bendigo, Williamson said the original plan for the madison was to race the mile.
“It’s taken a lot of work to regain fitness and strength,” the 20-year-old said.
In the dash for 800m glory, Threlfall achieved a time of 1:52.87, with Williamson racing to the line in 1:53.48.
Williamson said a major goal was to contest the invitation mile at the Stawell Gift at Easter and then race the track season finale at Ballarat’s Gift.