Hot favourite Matthew Rizzo charges to Stawell Gift glory

Langwarrin 18-year-old Matthew Rizzo was the hottest of favourites going into the Stawell Gift final and he delivered in grand style.

Rizzo, who finished second last in the 2016 final, stormed to victory in a time of 12.10sec to finish well clear of the fast-finishing Nathan Riali and third-placed Kyle Grubnic.

“All the hard work has paid off. I’m lost for words,” Rizzo, who ran from a 7.5m handicap, said.

“I walked away last year from that final a little bit disappointed. I wanted to take it out this year and I just did it.”