Teen dashes to stun­ning Gift vic­tory against odds

Geraldton Guardian - - Sport - Vic­tor Tanti

Sur­prises are all part of hand­i­capped sprints but ev­ery now and then, you can be, well, sur­prised.

The 2017 LiveLighter Mullewa Gift was an­other su­perbly or­gan­ised West Coast Athletics event but no one ex­pected the win­ner to be un­her­alded 13-year-old Eleanor Dis­selkoen.

To be fair, she did show abil­ity in her heat in which, com­ing off 28m, she ran sec­ond to Adri­aan Pelser in 12.281sec.

She showed it again in the semi­fi­nal, which she won in 12.399sec. but no-one, Dis­selkoen in­cluded, ex­pected a tri­umph in the final.

She was again on 28m and front marker and jeal­ously guarded her hand­i­cap with a fluid and bal­anced run. But with the line ap­proach­ing, it seemed cer­tain Evan Jarvis, des­per­ate to make his­tory and be the first three-time win­ner, would track her down.

And if not Jarvis, then Kobi Ni­chols looked strong, or fast-fin­ish­ing de­fend­ing champ Sasha Zhoya.

Some­how, Dis­selkoen held on to win, lung­ing for the line and un­aware her time of 12.302sec. was enough to hold off Jarvis (12.365sec.) and Nichol (12.289sec.).

“I didn't see any­one else at the fin­ish but I knew everyone was there and I didn’t think I’d won,” Dis­selkoen said. “It was a big sur­prise. “I was just happy to win the Novice Gift so, yeah, very happy.”

Dis­selkoen plans to con­tinue train­ing un­der Matt Barber and im­prove but she’s in no rush.

She’s a tal­ent at most sports and, as is the Aus­tralian way, plays as many as she can.

“I like net­ball, swim­ming, cross­coun­try and wa­ter polo, I don’t spend much time at home,” she said.

Pic­ture: Jus­tine Rowe

Ju­lia Foulkes-Tay­lor with the Mullewa Gift placeget­ters Eleanor Dis­selkoen (first), Evan Jarvis (sec­ond), and Kobi Ni­chols (third).

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