Western Australian sprint sensation Sasha Zhoya has won the prestigious 2018 Bay Sheffield 70m & 120m Gift double at Collie reserve in Glenelg.
In a blistering performance over the two days Zhoya (5m) has charged down local favourite Harrison Hunt (6.5m) in a nail biting 120m final. The win secures a unique and historical 70/120m double which has not been done for three decades. He has also pocketed over $16 000 in prize money in the process.
By winning the 2017 Hamersley Gift one month before and earning $1000 in the process, he was flown over to Collie reserve in Adelaide FREE by the WCAL to compete in two of the biggest races on the Australian Professional running calendar. The Bay Sheffield 70m Sprint & Open 120m Gift’s. A task so huge than no one has seen the double completed by the same athlete since 1989.
The free trip earned by Zhoya was handed to him by the WCAL who decided it was time to send a worthy contender and winner of a WA gift over for a crack at Australia’s largest tourism professional gift event. This amazing opportunity can only be provided in professional running environment with the West Coast and South Australian professional leagues working closely together. The Hamersley LAC has been fantastic to host the entry event over the past 7 years.
Sasha participated his first HLAC junior pro race when he was only 11yo. He won the same race one year later as a 12yo. After a few years continuing to run pro races (and a handy growth spurt) at 15 years old he has now transformed into one of the finest junior athletes in the world. Currently ranked No. 2 in the world over the 110m hurdles for his age. He also now has the financial support to help him continue comfortably in athletics. This opportunity would not have happened without the win of the 2017 Hamersley Gift and the support of the West Coast Athletic League.
“Bay Sheffield has been an amazing experience! Winning was good, of course, but it is the whole experience, as its atmosphere and the huge number of spectators which stick in my mind. Without winning the Hamersley Gift, I would not have gone to Adelaide… So, really, I own it to WCAL for sending me there in the first place”. “The first time I watched my sister participating to a WCAL event, she made $20. I was 9 year old, or maybe 10 at the time. I was so frustrated to be too young to participate. So, as soon as I could, I got into it. I did not win a thing for 2 or 3 years, not even close to making any finals! But I stuck to it, then I won the U14 HLAC Junior pro-run, then all the way to Bay Sheffield. Pretty awesome really! I need to thank all my coaches too. I train very hard and make huge sacrifices to my everyday life, but by the end, the hard work is worth it.” – Sasha Zhoya.
SASHA’S AMAZING RISE TO GLORY
2014 U14 Hamersley LAC Junior Gift
2016 Mullewa 70m Jim Wilson Sprint Gift
2016 Mullewa 120m LiveLighter Novice Gift
2016 Mullewa 120m LiveLighter Open Gift
2016/17 WCAL Athlete & Sprinter of the Year
2017 Mullewa Bendigo Bank 550m Gift
2017 WCAL Hamersley 120m Open Gift
2017 SA Tourism Bay Sheffield 70m Sprint Gift
2017 Coopers Bay Sheffield 120m Open Gift
The ‘Pro Team WA’ had a historical three runners in the Men’s 120m final. Not since 1994 has WA had 3 or more finalist’s in a major interstate gift race. WA’s Taylor Sharpe also won the 120m Restricted Gift and finished 6th in the major 120m final. In the Women’s event WA continued the great results with Virginia Stasyszyn placing 5th in the Women’s 120m Gift final. It was a very successful and historical trip for all the Pro Team WA competitors.
The WCAL will be presenting a new unique, exciting and revamped 2018/19 professional season at this years Annual Awards at Christina’s Restaurant on Sunday March 25th.