Thomas Newman (with trophy) and his identical twin Jack finished first and second in the Queanbeyan Gift. Photo: Melissa AdamsIdentical twin brothers Jack and Tom Newman are virtually inseparable, and wondered how good it would be to dead heat in the Queanbeyan Gift.
That dream nearly became reality with Tom edging out his sibling by just 0.02 seconds to take the $12,000 winner’s cheque at Australia’s second-biggest handicap race in hot conditions on Sunday.
Tom, two minutes the junior of the 16-year-olds, beat his sibling for the first time to secure a victory he rated “the best moment of my life so far”.
He was the front marker of the race at 12 metres, and held off fast-finishing Jack (9.50 metres) and third-placed Zach Holdsworth (6.50 metres) to grab family bragging rights.
The twins hail from Largs in the Hunter Valley, a small town with a population of 1400 people.
“It’s usually the other way around, I’m the one coming second and he’s beating me,” Tom said.
“It’s good to change things up, but he’s always there pushing me and without him I probably wouldn’t have won this event today.
“Twelve thousand is a lot of money and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, probably throw it in the bank.
“It’s a good feeling knowing I can get him on one of the most important ones.”
Jack admitted there was plenty of banter with his brother before the race, but said he couldn’t ask for anyone better to beat him.
“I’m the oldest by two minutes. Every time I beat him he says it’s because I’m older,” he said.
“He’s been running fantastic and he deserves that cheque, I couldn’t think of anyone better to beat me.
“There was lots of trash talk coming down in the car, I can tell you that much.
“We were saying ‘wouldn’t it be great if we got a dead heat,and had to do a run off after that?'”
The brothers have been racing each other since they began Little Athletics aged six years and have been pushing each other to the limit ever since.
“We do everything together, it’s probably why we came first and second,” Jack said.
“We’d been going off raw talent until a couple of years ago when we thought we could go somewhere with this, and got some professional training with [Maitland coach] Bryan Gulliver.”
The women’s event was won by Perth-based beach sprinter Brittany Brymer (13.67 off 12 metres), after she finished third last year.
For the second straight year Sydney’s Ella Nelson was forced to settle for runner-up, with Nikki Venardos coming home third.
“It’s a long way to travel but the competition here is better than anything you can get in WA so you have to put the kilometres in,” Brymer said.
“I work at a clothes store so that pays my bills to get over here. Flights were about $600 and then there’s accommodation on top of that.
“It’s never cheap coming from interstate, but the extra competition is worth it.
“My number one goal is to make the Australian team in surf lifesaving and I’m working towards that.