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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Cole's win one of closest in Burnie's history

Cole's win one of closest in Burnie's history

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1 Cole's win one of closest in Burnie's history on Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:08 pm



Cole's Gift in thrilling finish

The Advocate
02 Jan, 2012

IN one of the closest Gift finishes in the history of the Burnie New Year's Day Carnival, ACT runner Brendan Cole last night secured his first handicap victory, just scraping in to win the Burnie Sportspower Burnie Gift.

The five-time Australian 400m hurdles champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist was announced the winner over Burnie runner Edward Gates by just three one thousandths of a second.

The runners and crowd were left to speculate just who had won the $10,000 first prize as judges struggled to determine who had crossed the line first.

With the Coastal crowd hoping for a fairytale win for one of its own, it wasn't to be as the Matt Beckenham-coached sprinter was mobbed as word quickly spread from the judges' box.

"I'm half elated, half dazed after that one," the 30-year-old said as the win, in a time of 12.12 seconds, soaked in.

"It was an awesome race and fitting for such an electric carnival atmosphere.

"I've been chasing a handicap win for a while now, so it's a good feeling, I can tell you that."

Running off 5.25m, Cole was up against one of the strongest fields in recent Gift history, with 2009 Stawell Gift winner Aaron Stubbs the backmarker off 4.50m, 2006 Stawell Gift winner Adrian Mott off 4.75m, former Victorian Sprinter of the Year Matt Hargreaves off 6.50m, Gates off 8m and the Mark Hipworth-trained Adam Coote off 10.25m.

Mott finished third.

Perhaps the biggest omission from the field was dual Burnie and Stawell Gift winner Josh Ross.

The 2005 and 2007 winner missed out on a place in the final after running second to 2010 Victorian Sprinter of the Year Matt Hargreaves in the sixth and slowest semi-final.

While winning the Backmarkers Invitation 120m Sprint earlier in the day, Ross was disappointed with his efforts.

"I'd hoped to make the final but it just wasn't my day," he said.

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