Lewis wins last event at Olympic Park

Austadiums   |  Sunday 17th April 2011


Tamsyn Lewis was a fitting winner of the final track and field event to be held at Melbourne's Olympic Park.

It's unlikely that anyone has competed at the venue more often in the past couple of decades than the evergreen Victorian, whose first memories here are of watching her father Greg run when she was still a young girl.

The national championships, which concluded on Sunday, closed the door on a venue that has been the home of athletics in Australia for six decades and hosted many famous moments involving the likes of John Landy, Ron Clarke, Herb Elliott and Cathy Freeman.

The sport now moves to a new venue at Albert Park, with Olympic Park to be demolished and turned into a training oval for AFL powerhouse Collingwood.

"They have named the street Olympic Boulevard and they are taking away the main Olympic sport from arguably the greatest sporting arena in the world," said Lewis, 32, whose final lap of the track was a winning time of 52.31 seconds in the 400m - her 17th national title.

"Which ever way you look at it, it is disappointing - especially when it is going to be a football field for training.

"So I am upset about it.

"It is an honour to be the last race but it is bittersweet.

"I still think we should be here, track and field is a great sport.

"I have lived, trained and raced through 2000, the highest point in the sport, I didn't see '56, and it is just disappointing to be losing this track.

"But I guess we make fresh memories at the new one."

The new State Athletics Centre is being built at Albert Park, with the state government committing the final $15 million in funding on Sunday.


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