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PROTRACK » GENERAL » All I want for Xmas is a handicap win

All I want for Xmas is a handicap win

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1 All I want for Xmas is a handicap win on Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:56 am

JH

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All I want for Xmas is a handicap win
24 Dec, 2011 01:00 AM
DESPITE being one of Australia's most accomplished sprinters for more than a decade, Brendan Cole has never won a handicap race.

It's something the 30-year-old ACT-based Queenslander is hoping to rectify during next week's Basslink Christmas Carnivals Series.

"I'd really like to break my duck in Tasmania," the reigning Australian 400m hurdles champion and Commonwealth Games 400m relay gold medallist said.

"It's hard to believe I've never won a handicap race or a gift, but I'm really hoping I can break through in Tasmania," he said.

"I don't think the handicappers have been too hard on me - I ran a very quick 200m about five years ago and I think I've been paying the price ever since."

Cole, who specialises in 200m and 400m events, will start from the second back mark of 9m for next week's 400m Devonport Gift, but said he was happy with his mark.

He will also start as the backmarker in 400m events at Latrobe on Tuesday and Burnie on New Year's Day, but is targeting the Devonport Gift as his main event.

"Devonport is a great track with a really good surface and running 400m handicap events is one of my most favourite things in athletics."

Cole, currently ranked the number one 400m hurdler in the world, is aiming to earn an Olympic Games berth in London next year in the hurdles and possibly also as a member of the Australian 4x400m relay team.

"The hurdles is my focus and if I get a spot in the relay it's a bonus, but running flat 400m events helps my chances with both," he said.

"The Tasmanian carnivals are an important part of the build-up for Olympic trials.

"For many of us it's our first serious hit-out of the season and being able to run in a number of different races over a short period of time in race conditions is a valuable part of our training - plus it's on grass, which has less impact on your body.

"It's just perfect for our training to be able to run three or four 200m and 400m races in the space of a few days," Cole said.

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