Power couple adds lustre

FLYING RYAN: Olympian Ryan Gregson will compete at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals. Picture: Getty Images
Nanjing Night Net

THE Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals have received another boost with one of the hottest couples in Australian sport set to compete on the Coast.

Olympians Ryan Gregson and Genevieve LaCaze will both get a taste of their first carnivals experience this summer.

Gregson is the Australian 1500m record-holder and returns to the Coast where he won the Burnie Ten in 2008, his first major win.

With a personal best of 3:31.06 for the 1500m, Gregson said he was interested in challenging himself in a handicap event for the first time in Tasmania.

“I’ve been putting a lot of work in at training so my coach thought it was time we had a few hit-outs and the Devonport and Burnie Gifts came at the perfect time,” Gregson said.

“I’ve never raced a handicap before, and I assume that I’ll be at the back, so it’ll be hard catching people who I’m giving a few hundred metres up to.”

Gregson will be joined by his partner Genevieve LaCaze, who sits fifth on the Australian all-time list for the 3000m steeplechase and ninth for the mile.

She has also represented Australia at the 2012 Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 IAAF World Championships.

She was most recently in Tasmania competing in the 2015 Burnie Ten where she was the third female across the line behind Courtney Powell and Victoria Mitchell, with a time of 34:51.

LaCaze said she loved competing in Tasmania and the carnivals would be a great lead-up to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

She said: ‘‘2016 will be a huge year for us all and with already being qualified for Rio, kicking off the New Year racing in Tasmania at the Christmas Carnivals is a fun way to celebrate entering the exciting season ahead.’’

The Gold Coast runner is aware of the different conditions in Tasmania and running on grass instead of the track, but she said she is confident she can compete on the Coast.

‘‘I think I am in the best shape I ever have been at this time of year, so I should do well.

‘‘The grass throws in a whole other factor for some, but I believe it will benefit me since I train on grass a few times a week.

‘‘The head-starts will be tough mentally, but once the gun goes I am hoping I start catching people, which will motivate me to get going.’’

The pair will be joined by fellow training partner Luke Mathews, with all three athletes entered in the 800m and 1600m in Devonport and the 1600m in Burnie.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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