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Aussie champ knocked back US lure to stay with 'adopted dad'

Ben St Lawrence chuckles while pondering the five years he’s spent coaching newly minted Australian running champion Luke Boyes.

“He’s gone from being one of the most frustrating people to coach because of his lack of commitment, to being one of my favourite athletes to coach because of his absolute, 100 per cent commitment, and also his consistency, patience and ability to execute on race day,” St Lawrence tells Wide World of Sports.

After winning the men’s 800m title at the Australian Track and Field Championships last Sunday, Boyes poured out his heart.

“Everything I want to achieve, he’s done.

“He forced me to go to training, and before I knew it I was hooked, and now here we are two years later.

“I’ve got to put everything on him.

“He understands that coaching is more than being a coach.”

Elated and emotional after last Sunday’s victory in Adelaide, the athlete and coach shared a beautiful embrace. From either side of a fence circulating the track, they leaned in and hugged. Smiling like a proud dad, the 42-year-old coach gave his champion athlete a pat on the back.

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