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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Caldow favourite for Burnie Gift as 'The Boss's' mark is withheld

Caldow favourite for Burnie Gift as 'The Boss's' mark is withheld

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http://www.theadvocate.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/teen-sensation-firms-for-gift/2399674.aspx?storypage=0

Teen sensation firms for Gift

The Advocate
21 Dec, 2011




SOUTH Australian teenage sprint sensation Jordan Caldow and 2009 Stawell Gift winner Aaron Stubbs will start equal favourites for the $15,000 Sportspower Burnie Gift, on January 1, after the release of handicap marks yesterday.

Tasmanian Athletic League official handicapper Andrew Willis has given Jordan a generous mark of 4.75m for the rich 120m event, with Stubbs also escaping with a relatively mild 4.5m handicap.

Jordan, 17, won last year's Bay Sheffield Gift in his home state and is one of Australia's top 100m and 200m sprinters, as well as being an Australian surf lifesaving beach sprint champion.

Jordan recently stormed home from the back mark of 6m in the Bill Ross Memorial 200m Handicap event at Henty Park in South Australia, running a blistering 20.53 seconds.

The teenager has been handicapped off the back mark of 5m for the 200m event at the Devonport Carnival.

Stubbs is also a former Australian beach sprint champion and should make good use of his mark at Burnie.

While Jordan and Stubbs appear to be favourably handicapped, two-time Burnie Gift winner Josh Ross and 2006 Stawell Gift winner Adrian Mott will have to wait to find out their marks for Burnie.

Ross recently won the 100 yard final at the Zatopek meeting in Melbourne and finished third in the Queanbeyan Gift in the ACT at the weekend.

Ross and Mott are among a group of runners entered for Burnie whose marks have been withheld by Willis.

However, they can both expect to be starting behind Jordan and Stubbs, having already been slotted into earlier heats.

This year's winner, South Australian Robbie James, is currently the provisional backmarker and will start from 3.50m in heat two.

Willis said more mainland entries this season, a higher quality of runners entered and a number of runners competing in Tasmania for the first time meant compiling information to determine handicaps had become a much more difficult task compared to last year.

Provisional handicaps for running events at Latrobe, Devonport and Burnie have been posted on the TAL website, but Willis indicated changes would be made in coming days.

"Latrobe should be finalised by Wednesday - there are a few alterations which need to be made," Willis said.

"Devonport will be finalised before Christmas and Burnie a few days later," he said.

Australian sprint champion Melissa Breen has been given the honour of the back mark for both the Latrobe and Burnie Gifts and will start just ahead of scratch, from 0.25m.

Australian 400m hurdles champion Brendon Cole will start from the back mark of 9m in the 400m Devonport Gift, with Australian women's 400m hurdles champion Lauren Boden, starting off the same mark in heat one of the women's Gift.

Former 400m world champion Jana Pittman will start from 11m in the third heat.



Last edited by Admin on Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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http://www.examiner.com.au/news/local/sport/athletics/ross-waits-on-his-burnie-gift-handicap/2399394.aspx

Ross waits on his Burnie Gift handicap

BY TERRY MORRIS
The Advocate
21 Dec, 2011




TOP sprinter Josh Ross won't know his handicap for the $15,000 Burnie Gift until a few days before the race.

Although marks for the Burnie Gift on New Year's Day have been released sprint handicapper Andrew Willis has withheld the handicap for Ross because, as he admits, he doesn't know what mark to give him.

``I want to wait for a few more days and assess the form from the early carnivals before making a decision on Ross,'' he said.

Ross is in the history books as the only runner to have won the Burnie Gift twice from scratch although it is likely he will get a lift off that mark.

``Ross is making a comeback to running and I can't be too hard on him,'' Willis said.

Willis is into his second year as sprint handicapper and follows the philosophy that every runner deserves a winning chance.

He has also withheld the marks for former Stawell Gift winner Adrian Mott and Simon Fitzpatrick among others.

``I'm going through the handicaps a second time and I expect Burnie to be finalised by the end of next week,'' he said.

Victorian runner Chris Hargreaves has been penalised two metres following his win in the Queanbeyan Gift at the weekend.

Hargreaves pocketed $10,000 when he beat home Elliott Marynissen and Josh Ross and he will now run off 7.25m at Burnie.

Ross ran off 0.75m at Queanbeyan and was beaten by 0.7 seconds in his second run since making a comeback.

Former world champion Jana Pittman has been given an 11m lift in the Devonport Gift to be run next Thursday.

Pittman ran off scratch when she last contested the Devonport Gift in 2009 but distance handicapper David Heron has taken into account the injuries she has suffered and the amount of time spent away from the track.

``In 2009 she found the scratch mark too tight and didn't go close to making the final,'' he said.

Pittman has been slow to recover from her first run back from a long break and has been training mainly in the swimming pool.

She has struck a particularly tough heat with the field including Abbey de la Motte, Nicole Perry, Sandy Loring and Michelle Davis.

Canberra runner Lauren Boden has been given the backmark in the Devonport Gift and will run from 9m.

Boden and Pittman are on a collision course to represent Australia in the 400m hurdles at the London Olympic Games next year.

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