UC’s Joshua Johnson (4:13) traveled to the tropical top end to race in The Mitchell Street Darwin Mile, dubbed the richest road mile race in Australia.
Jordan Gusman ran an impressive 4:05 to win the 1600m event finishing ahead of Johnson (6th position) his training partner and unseated Olympian Ryan Gregson as the Mitchell Mile champion when he won the event in scintillating fashion, while Rio Olympian Genevieve LaCaze’s winning smile said it all after her lead-from-the-front race plan produced a maiden win.
Gusman, the 22-year-old Canberran, was beaten by Gregson in the 1500m national championships but turned the tables on the Olympian in yesterday’s race to grab the $7500 champion’s check (AUS dollars).
His 4 minutes, 5.35 seconds time for the Mile was more than half a second quicker than Gregson and more than three seconds better than third-placed Jordy Williamsz.
“I was pretty confident going in,” Gusman told NT News post race. “I had to be confident in my own ability; with a lot of good athletes in the race I knew were going to push hard.”
“So I just backed myself and was lucky enough to get the win through a combination of things.
“I’ve been slowly working on my fitness and taking it out early, but the race wasn’t quick from the start and I figured with my 800m background I always had that good finish in me.”
Gusman’s tactic was to sit back behind the leading group and make his move, a plan that worked a treat against a tiring Gregson.
“I sat back when they went out slow, knowing the attacks would come and I was one of them, it was a pretty good feeling hitting the tape first,” he said.
Gregson, a national hero when he finished ninth in the Olympic 1500m final, was gracious in defeat.
“I went pretty hard, pretty early, but Jordan was too strong for me this time,” Gregson said.
“It was all I had and credit to Jordan for a great run.”
More than 3500 fans were on hand in overcast conditions to watch the third edition of the world’s richest mile race.
Of the $35,000 prizemoney on offer, $30,000 was directed to the men’s and women’s mile races.