400m Star to Return
27 November 2017
Olympic finalist Morgan Mitchell is returning to the Fulton Hogan Tasmanian Christmas Carnival series and once again she's bringing her stable.
At her debut in the series last summer, Mitchell was dominant, taking victories in the Latrobe and Devonport Gifts, then a photo finish second at Burnie.
"I loved competing in Tassie last year, the people were so nice and the atmosphere was great," the Victorian said.
The 23 year old has been a regular on Australian teams since the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where as a newcomer she made the semi finals in the individual 400m and was a member of the 4 x 400m team that placed 4th in the final.
Since then she has made an individual semi-final at the Rio Olympics, along with a relay final. In what was a breakout year, she also climbed to number 8 on the all time rankings for Australian 400m runners with 51.25m - arguably Australia's best ever event. In the middle of this year she was again a member of the 4 x 400m team that made the final.
"This is a stepping stone for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, my main focus at the moment is to get fitter and faster and to try and secure my spot on the team," she said of the games on the Gold Coast in April.
Australia's number one 400m runner is once again bringing her training squad, after many of them were amongst the prize money last season.
"I can’t wait to come back, a few of my training partners are competing too so it’ll be a fun week," she declared.
The Mitchell led group will include;
Ash Whittaker - 2014 Commonwealth Games representative, 11.43sec 100m PB
Will Johns - 2016 Devonport 400m Gift Champion and Victorian 400m champion
Matt De Bruin - 2014 World Junior 110m Hurdles semi finalist
Harry Kimpton Moss - Bronze medalist, 2014 Commonwealth Youth Games 400m Hurdles
Rory Plant - 2017 Burnie Gift Finalist
Mitchell, a three-time national 400m champion has been a star on any meet she has attended in recent years. With a shortened domestic season with the Commonwealth Games focus, Rod Walker of the Devonport Athletics Club said having Morgan at their revamped 1-day meet was huge boost.
"Having Morgan coming back to Devonport again shows how important the carnivals are for our commonwealth games athletes. Everyone has not stopped talking about the incredible performance last year in the Devonport Gift. Morgan I am sure will be in as good as shape as last year and we all remember what Cathy Freeman did after winning the Devonport Gift," Walker said.
Mitchell will race the Devonport 400m Gift, Whittaker the Women's 120m Gift, while all men from the squad will race in both Devonport and Burnie.
2017/2018 FULTON HOGAN TASMANIAN CHRISTMAS CARNIVALS PROGRAM;
Saturday, December 16: Rosebery Carnival
Tuesday, December 26: Ulverstone criterium festival – twilight
Wednesday, December 27: Latrobe carnival
Thursday, December 28: Launceston carnival
Friday, December 29: Devonport criterium festival – twilight
Saturday, December 30: Devonport carnival
Sunday, December 31: Burnie criterium – twilight
Monday, January 1: Burnie carnival
Sunday, January 7: Hobart Carnival
Saturday, January 20: St Helens Carnival