PNG scratchmarker out to emulate Breen

WELL DONE: Papua New Guinean Toea Wisil is congratulated by fellow competitors after winning a heat from scratch at Central Park on Saturday. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

WELL DONE: Papua New Guinean Toea Wisil is congratulated by fellow competitors after winning a heat from scratch at Central Park on Saturday. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

Papua New Guinean Toea Wisil is primed to become the second scratchmarker to take out the Stawell Women's Gift.

Wisil, who is based in Queensland, could not have been a more impressive winner a heat at Central Park on Saturday.

The new Australian 100m and 200m champion was in a class of her own in running 13.84 seconds.

Melissa Breen won the event off scratch in 2012.

She finished second in her heat from 0.25m on Saturday to progress to Monday’s semi-finals as one of the 17 fastest time outside the winners.

Wisil had plenty in hand as she coasted through the second half of the 120m dash and believes she can emulate Breen.

"Why not? She did it," Wisil said.

Wisil is competing at Stawell for the first time and was impressed by the event –  especially the crowd and reception she had received.

“It’s awesome.”

She said she was extremely happy to have reached the semi-finals.

Taylah Perry ran the quickest heat in 13.69 seconds.

So hot was the heat that the first five finishers qualified for the semi-finals.

This included third-placed Donvale teenager Liv Ryan, who was backed in from 30-1 to even money favourite going into the heats.

Past Ballarat Women’s Gift winner Kiara Reddingius from Western Australia was more than happy with heat 13.97 heat win from 4.5m.

Reddingius said she had only just solely returned to her focus to sprinting after finishing third in the heptathlon – her specialty event – at the nationals earlier this month.

“I’m feeling good.”

She said she had freshened up since the titles and would be improved by the heat run.

Tasmania’s Lauren Jauncey Gorringe will have a dilemma if she wins the women’s gift on Monday.

As well as competing, as Australia Post’s head of diversity and inclusion she is at Stawell to make the presentation to the winner of the event.

Gorringe said she had only decided to compete given that she would be at Stawell in an official capacity, so it had been a late preparation.

She has only been in training for 10 weeks.

She said while she knew it was a long shot, she thought she might as well have a crack.

Gorringe is a mother of three and last time she competed at Stawell two years ago she was in the early stages of pregnancy.

Olympian and world championships representative Lauren Wells also reached the semi-finals with a 14.01-second heat win off 4.25m.