Another classic edition of Australia's oldest and richest short-distance running race has been run and done.
Easter Monday saw the return of the traditional Stawell Gift where Harrison Kerr and Carla Bull claimed victory in both the men's and women's 120m events.
Kerr clocked the fastest winning time in 27 years, with the red-hot Victorian storming to victory in 11.85 seconds - the fastest winning time in the celebrated handicap event since Glenn Crawford (11.79) in 1995.
The women's Stawell Gift was a much closer affair, with Queenslander Bull (6m) prevailing in a photo finish in 13.77 from Clare De Salis and backmarker Mia Gross.
Despite the 22-year-old Kerr becoming a regular fixture at Stawell for the past eight years, he said post-race that he has only recently believed he was ready to seriously challenge for the title.
"I've had family members compete here and my brother lives locally so I've been up and down (to Stawell) a few times," the final-year engineering student said.
"(Until now) I just wasn't ready, I wasn't going to be able to run those sort of times.
"I just needed the right prep to set up for it."
Kerr's preparation also hit a major hurdle in May 2021 when he injured his shoulder during a suburban football match, undergoing reconstructive surgery.
Hamish Lindstrom (7.75m) was second in 12.01, Jesse McKenna - the son of former AFL great Guy McKenna -was third and scratch marker Eddie Nketia from New Zealand was fourth.
Kerr and women's Gift winner Bull both pocketed winner's cheques of $40,000.
WHAT A RACE!!- 7Sport (@7Sport) April 18, 2022
Carla Bull WINS the Women's Gift in a THRILLER pic.twitter.com/j9B8IVIPPc
The win almost didn't happen for Bull though with the 19-year-old picking up a sore throat on the flight from Brisbane to Melbourne and sending a scare through her camp in the process.
"I was a bit worried for the next day," she said.
"But I just relaxed, made sure I had lots of fluids and did everything I could to prepare.
"I wasn't too good yesterday; you may have heard my voice."
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