Goodwin wins Stawell Gift

Having drawn inspiration from the sporting success of his father and his mates to become a Stawell Gift champion, Murray Goodwin is now eyeing the Rio Olympics.

It's been quite some rise for a runner who gave athletics away for several years in his mid 20s before deciding in early 2014 to give it one more serious crack.

It paid big dividends on a cold, wet Easter Monday at Central Park, as Goodwin powered away to win the Gift in 12.10 seconds off a mark of 6.5m, well clear of fellow pre-event favourite Luke Houlihan (12.26), who never recovered from an early stumble.

Three-time finalist Brendan Matthews was third in 12.37.

Goodwin is coached by Brett Robinson, a two-time Gift finalist who also masterminded Mitchell Williams-Swain's Stawell triumph four years ago.

After Goodwin reached the semis last year, Robinson was convinced he had another Gift winner on his hands.

Now Robinson reckons he has a potential Olympic 400m relay runner in the making.

"We'll sit down now and try and have a look at how that goes," said the 28-year-old Goodwin.

"Obviously something like that takes a lot of planing and preparation and we've got to put down some steps toward that now.

"We will evaluate the possibility.

"Something like a major championship is definitely a goal for me."

Goodwin's father Shane is a former Australian 800m champion, who has long been a source of inspiration.

The Queensland teacher's friendship with Beijing Olympics 400m representative Dylan Grant goes all the way back to primary school.

"I saw some mates of mine who had gone on to do things," said Goodwin.

"I felt that at the time I had shown enough potential to try and emulate some of the feats that they had achieved.

"I really used that as motivation, to say if they were good enough then I certainly thought I was as well."

If any further motivation was needed for Goodwin, it came on Monday morning on a pre-race walk around the Stawell town centre.

"I was just looking at some of those winners' plaques and one of our group members made a joke that it could be your's today," he said.

"It's such a prestigious thing."

Australia's fastest boy Jack Hale was run out in the semi-finals after clocking 12.51 off the backmark of 2.25m.

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