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Senate congratulates distance runner Benita Johnson.

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SENATE CONGRATULATES DISTANCE RUNNER BENITA JOHNSON The Senate today congratulated Australian distance runner, Benita Johnson, on her historic victory in the World Cross Country Championships.

A motion moved jointly by Australian Democrats Sport spokesperson, Senator Aden Ridgeway, the Minister for Arts and Sport, Senator Rod Kemp and the Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, Senator Kate Lundy, also noted that Johnson is the first Australian to win any medal in the 32-year history of the race.

The text of the motion is below:

That the Senate -

a) Congratulates Australian distance runner, Benita Johnson, who won gold in the women's 8 kilometre race at the World Cross Country Championships in Brussels on 20 March

b) Notes that she is the first Australian in the 32-year history of the event to win any medal in the race - which she won by over 50 metres.

c) Notes that the world cross country meet is the most competitive distance race in the world as each country can send up to six representatives and that this race comprised 100 runners.

d) Notes also that Benita currently holds the Australian 2km, 3km, 5km and 10km records and that she developed her talent at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)

e) Notes the increased support the Government has given to sport and the AIS.

f) Calls on the Government to ensure that the AIS continues to be adequately supported so as to promote future Australian sporting excellence.

Media Contact - Liz Willis 0417 410 506