Walker wins 1600m race

WINNER: Tom Walker crosses the finish line in the 1600m final on Saturday. Picture: Lachlan Bence

WINNER: Tom Walker crosses the finish line in the 1600m final on Saturday. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Stawell student Tom Walker was the toast of Central Park on Saturday.

The 16-year-old became an instant hometown hero when he saluted in the backmarkers' 1600m handicap.

Walker grabbed the ascendancy when he jumped off the front with about 500m to go.

Up to that stage he said he had been happy to set just off the pace let others do the "dirty work".

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He established a handy break and was never seriously challenged as he dictated terms to the line, although it was not until the last 50m that felt he had the event in his keeping.

Walker, who was a block boy at the Stawell Gift in 2015, trains under the guidance of Marcus Cooper in Ararat and Keith Haymes in Stawell and ran off 120m in the final.

The win comes after a successful run at the Australian Athletic Championships when he was the sixth Australian and second Victorian to cross the line in the 3000m race in Sydney last month.

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