Drought finally broken with mile victory

IT WAS a case of third time lucky yesterday for Victorian runner Michael Marantelli in taking out the men's 1600-metre Tasmanian Mile.

Marantelli had finished runner-up at the past two Burnie carnivals and went one better to record a sweet and elusive victory.

Running from a handicap mark of 80metres, Marantelli took the lead on the bell lap after chasing down front markers Jacqui Dalwood (300m) and Maddie Murphy and Darren Brown (250m).

He had some quality runners trying to run him down, including national 800m champion Alex Rowe, Devonport 800 winner Daniel Reeves and four Kenyan back markers, but was able to hold off all challengers for a comfortable win in 4minutes, 00.19 seconds.

The giant-striding Kenyan scratch marker, Elijah Kiptoo, put in another gutsy run after giving the front markers 300metres start to finish second, with Rowe third.

"I'm stoked to win after running second last year," Marantelli said.

"It's broken a bit of a drought for me in terms of winning a Mile after lots of seconds and thirds.

"So there is a fair weight lifted off my shoulders and I'm pretty happy."

Marantelli said it was an event he really wanted to win after two successive second placings with the prestige attached to the Burnie Carnival.

"After coming second the last two years it was on top of the list of things to win this year," he said.

He said he could hear the crowd and commentator saying the Kenyan, Kiptoo, was finishing strongly but hoped he could hold on.

"I'm not sure I had much of a kick left so I'm just glad I didn't hear his footsteps at the end."

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