ATHLETICS: Three Stawell Gift winners will line up in this weekend's $6000 Noosa Gift at Girraween Sports Complex, including the reigning champion Isaac Dunmall.
In a massive boost for the Noosa Gift Athletics Carnival, hosted by the Noosa Little Athletics Club and the Queensland Athletic League, past Stawell winners Mitchell Williams (2011) and Aaron Stubbs (2009) will also take part in the handicap dash over 110m.
The Stawell Gift is one of the most treasured events in Australian athletics and this year boasted a prize pool of $60,000 The final is traditionally held on Easter Monday and broadcast live across the nation.
While the Noosa Gift may have some way to go before it catches Stawell in terms of prestige and popularity, it's competitiveness and it's seaside location is what organisers believe will help grow the event in the future.
Coordinator Ian Smith said organisers were "stoked" to entice three Stawell Gift winners to the event.
"Most years we're happy for one to show up ... we've got some real screamers in the field this year," he said.
Smith said organisers would also introduce a "backmarkers" final which could pit some of Australia's fastest runners, who were handicapped out of the main event, against each other.
"Potentially, it could be one of the fastest races held in Queensland this year," he said.
Dunmall comes into the event in blistering form, having run a personal best 10.44 for the 100m at Brisbane on November 5.
The full fields are due to be released by the end of the week, including the field for the women's race.
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