At the Pirtek Athletic Allstars event last night, in the clash of Australia’s fastest footy players, rugby union flyer Lachie Turner claimed bragging rights for the 15-man game, pipping fellow Eastwood winger John Grant and league’s Jarryd Hayne in the 100m Gatorade Bolt.
The race, named after World and Olympic Champion Usain Bolt, had been built as a two-man war between league stars Hayne and Greg Inglis, but Turner had enough left over the final 20m to overpower the Parramatta superstar.
“I didn’t expect it,” Turner said after the race.
“Especially after about 60m, Jarryd was pulling ahead of me and Johnny as well, so it was certainly nice to get over
the line first. I almost killed myself doing it, but I’m very happy.”
Turner echoed the praises of many of the athletes on the night, saying the event was a winner and had a future on the Australian sporting scene.
“I think it’s massive for athletics, it just goes to show how good things can be here and just how talented some of our athletes are,” he said.
“In terms of footy, it’s great for the exposure and it’s great that we can pit different sports against each other in a neutral environment. I think all the guys really enjoyed it so hopefully it’s something that stays around for another few years.”
Eastwood Rugby’s John Grant, a late entrant, was definitely the surprise packet on the night fooling everybody at the athletics centre bar mentor and the person who got him a spot in the race, leading Sydney broadcaster Allan Jones.
Jones had guaranteed Grant a spot in the showcase event on Tuesday morning while talking to meet organiser Hayden Knowles live on air on 2GB.
For Grant it was a huge surprise to be asked at the eleventh hour and said it was a great honour to participate.
“It was it was a win for rugby,” he said.
Hayne who looked like the winner with 20 metres to go, joined fellow league star’s Inglis, Josh Morris, Ben Barba, Nathan Gardner and A-league’s Matt Lewis in compiling the rest of the field
The final finishing order was:
|Event 8 Men 100 metre GatoradeBolt|
|1||Turner, Lachlan||NSW Waratahs||11.10||-0.1|
|2||Grant, John||Eastwood Rugby||11.15||-0.1|
|3||Hayne, Jarryd||Parramatta Eels||11.20||-0.1|
|6||Gardner, Nathan||Cronulla Sharks||11.77||-0.1|
|7||Lewis, Matt||Central Coast Ma||11.99||-0.1|
|8||Inglis, Greg||Melbourne Storm||12.48||-0.1|