Sprint legend Gerrard Keating said Ballarat will bear witness to Australia's 'next Olympic medalist' at the Ballarat Gift.
Teen sensation Torrie Lewis will be one of six runners to travel with Keating to Ballarat's richest footrace next month. She will compete in the 120m women's showcase on what's likely to be a stiff handicap.
Earlier this year, Lewis set a new under-16 national record in the 100-metre sprint.
She also equaled Sally Pearson's under-18 record At the Queensland All Schools athletics championships two months ago. Her record-breaking time 11.5 seconds ranks among the top four women in Australia.
Having primarily coached Lewis the last four years, Keating said she was the best he had seen since Cathy Freeman.
"The fist time I saw her I knew straight away that this was our next big thing and was probably our next Olympic medalist," Keating said.
"She is currently ranked number one in the world for her age."
As a 14-year-old In 2019, Lewis narrowly missed qualification for the final of the Stawell Gift after being edged out by eventual winner Alexia Loizou on a 5.5-metre handicap.
She was the youngest of close to 100 runners in the women's field, competing at only a few months past the minimum entry age. Keating said she returned a different girl.
"That was her first pro race, and what she ran in her semi would have won three other semi-finals, but that's the luck of the draw sometimes," Keating said.
At the Burnie Gift last weekend, Lewis made the 120m final. Keating said no 15-year-old in the country could have achieved that.
"She only had a 50cm handicap at Burnie and probably won't get much more than that in Ballarat, but she'll still have a crack," he said.
"She is the real deal and the people that were at Burnie absolutely saw it and they think she's an absolute star."