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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Albury-Wodonga Gift can be 'bigger' than Stawell

Albury-Wodonga Gift can be 'bigger' than Stawell

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http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/alburywodonga-gift-can-be-bigger-than-stawell/2387421.aspx

Albury-Wodonga Gift can be 'bigger' than Stawell

By JAKE BOURKE
Border Mail
09 Dec, 2011


ALBURY-raised Stawell Gift winner Tom Burbidge says a revamped Albury-Wodonga Gift can become Australia’s most famous foot race.

Burbidge, who was back in Albury yesterday to help launch the event he is both managing and running in, said the Border’s latest sporting coup had the scope to become bigger than Australia’s richest foot race, despite the event’s famous history.

The Stawell Gift has been held in all but four years since 1878 and has developed into Australia’s, and notably one of the world’s, most famous and prestigious foot races.

But Burbidge, who pocketed $40,000 for winning the Stawell Gift last year, said there was no reason the $10,000 Gift, which will be held at Albury Sportsground on January 29, couldn’t eventually become bigger than the Stawell Gift in Australian athletic circles.

“I’ve got some very high hopes for the event,” Burbidge said.

“I don’t see any reason whatsoever why it couldn’t be as big as, or bigger, than the Stawell gift.

“All it would have over us is the history. Yes, that’s a huge part of it but we have to start somewhere.”

Burbidge said the size of the Albury-Wodonga community would also help build the prestige of the event.

“For a place like Albury-Wodonga to not have a gift was amazing. It blew me away.”

While to some it may seem an outlandish statement considering the Stawell Gift’s place in Australian history, Burbidge’s claims were met with support from Commonwealth Games gold medallist Brendan Cole, who will contest the $4000 400-metre open event on the day.

Cole, who is also a world championships representative and five-time national 400-metre hurdles champion, said the Albury-Wodonga Gift had loads of potential.

“I think the potential for this gift is fantastic,” Cole said.

Albury last held a gift in 1991 and officials are expecting a host of Australia’s best athletes to enter the event.

http://protrack.easyforumlive.com

ToM

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A nice double team from the Matty B Dept. boys.

"While to some it may seem outlandish..." was an interesting throw, considering it was only as far as his training partner.

Love it.

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