Jessica Stenson has secured a glorious double for Australia at the Commonwealth Games after prevailing in the women’s marathon.
The dual Commonwealth bronze medallist cemented her reputation as one of Australia’s greatest distance runners with a sensational run in the marathon.
It followed the efforts of Western Australian Madison di Rozario, who won the T53/54 marathon earlier on Saturday, as Australia’s athletics campaign got the best possible start on day two in Birmingham.
Stenson, the sister of former Melbourne and Port Adelaide footballer Jackson Trengove, ran a season’s best of 2:27:31, two minutes off the personal best she set in Perth last year.
After easily keeping pace with the leading pack for the first half of the 42km race, Stenson stretched her legs in the second half as she began to put some distance between her and the rest of the field.
By the 30km she had taken outright lead of the race and the South Australian gradually extended her lead in the final part of the race.
Despite a challenge from Kenya’s Margaret Muriuki, Stenson was able to hold her ground over the last few kilometres to win the race by 29 seconds.
As she crossed the finish line, Stenson immediately sought out her family in the crowd, embracing her partner Dylan and their two year-old son Billy.
Eloise Wellings almost made it two Australians on the podium, just missing out on a bronze as she finished fourth, while Sinead Driver finished just behind her in fifth.