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September 20th, 2019 by admin

Stawell legend Ravelo dies, 73

Ravelomanantsoa​
Nanjing Night Net

Stawell Gift legendJean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa​, died last month aged 73.

Ravelomanantsoa​ who was affectionately known as Ravelo was the first person ever to win the iconic race from the scratch mark.

Current Stawell Athletic Club committee member and junior starter of the 1975 Stawell Gift carnival Murray MacPherson recalls the day the race changed forever.

“It was a shocking day at Stawell, it was cold, wet and windy, but I had a close view of the race from the starters point,” MacPherson said.

“Jean-Louis looked confident after his semi, but no one had ever come close to winning from the back mark. He ran 12 seconds dead and won by half a metre or so.”

Ravelo defeated pre race favourite Peter Marks and third placed Murray McGregor.

Ravelo who hailed from Madagascar was a three time Olympian and his country’s greatest ever sprinter.

Twenty five years on from his victory he returned to Victoria for a hall of fame dinner held at Rod Laver Arena.

Having ran just once at Stawell he never defended his title, but he still goes down as one of the greats.

He was one of six runners inducted into the hall of fame on that evening.

When Stawell Gift celebrated 125 years of racing it was a unanimous decision that Ravelo was the greatest ever moment in Stawell Gift history.

“In my eyes it is still the greatest run we have ever seen at the Stawell Gift,” MacPherson said.

“I had the privilege of being there for both Ravelo’s win and Josh Ross’ scratch win some 30 years later. Ravelo set the bench mark for back markers.”

Ravelo has sadly passed, butMacPherson believes his legacy truly will live on forever.

“The crowds were much bigger back then, but Ravelo created more interest on that day than anyone has ever done before and people will be forever talk about the 1975 gift winner,” he said.

MacPherson was a head starter for 11 years from 1995-2006.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.