SPORTING Oz Athletics

Matt Shirvington
Australia Crest

Sprint running sensation who emerged from the pack in 1998, winning the 100 metres national title and the domestic Grand Prix series in March. Could be called The Great White Hope of running as the sport is dominated by Afro-American, Caribbean and African athletes.

Matt, from Frenchs Forest, Sydney, was born on October 25th, 1978, the offspring of two teachers. He went to St Martin's School at Davidson before North Shore Marist Brothers.

Matt is coached by Russian Michael Khmel and managed by The Shadow, Graham McNeice, who already has Ray-Ban and Adidas as Matt's sponsors.

In 1998 he spent 3 weeks in Houston, Texas, being coached by Tom Tellez, coach of the great Carl Lewis.

At the Commonwealth Games trials in he ran 10.37 for the 100 metres and 20.45 in the 200 metres. Prior to that he had run 10.28 in Brisbane.

In the Commonwealth Games 100 metres final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in September, 1998, he ran a close 4th in 10.03 into a headwind. This smashed the existing Australian record and augured well for Matt's future and for him to be the first white man to run a sub-10 seconds 100 metres.

Matt is almost unbeatable in Australia and even beat great Dennis Mitchell in a 100 metres in Hobart in 1998. His great desire is to break the 10 seconds barrier in front of a homeland crowd.

In March, 1999, Matt took out the 100 and 200 metres titles at the national track and field championships.

Matt is asthmatic and occasionally has to take a few puffs of Ventolin to prevent an attack.

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