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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Powell to start from scratch at Stawell - News Reports

Powell to start from scratch at Stawell - News Reports

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Powell to start from scratch at Stawell
Tue Mar 19 2013

Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell will start from scratch in the 132nd running of the Stawell Gift.

The Jamaican, with a personal best of 9.72 seconds, will become the fastest runner ever to race at Stawell and is searching to become the third runner in history to win the event from the scratch mark.

While Powell's handicap was expected, there was some surprise in the handicap handed to two-time winner Joshua Ross.

Ross, who won from 7m in 2003 and scratch in 2005, will give Powell just a 1m start in 2013.

The 32-year-old has suffered from his impressive form this season having already claimed two Gift wins from scratch, including the prestigious Bay Sheffield in Adelaide.

Ross' 1m lift from previous Victorian Athletic League events this year is well below average, with athletes generally receiving a 2m lift due to Powell's presence.

Defending champion Matthew Wiltshire (5.5m) will find the going tough, back from the 8m mark that gave him victory in 2012, despite the overall field lift this year.

Mitchell Williams-Swain (4.5m), who won in 2011, will join other former champions including 2008 winner Sam Jamieson (6.5m), 2009 winner Aaron Stubbs (5.25m) and 1999 winner Rodney Mathews (12m), who is one of the oldest runners in the field at 44 years of age.

Early Gift favourite Khan Marr will start from 5.25m.

The Stawell Gift carnival will be held from Friday, 29 March and will conclude on Monday, April 1.



Stawell gift marks: Powell gets scratch, Ross 1m.

By David Brehaut
Ballarat Courier
19th March 2013

Asafa Powell will attempt to be the third Stawell Gift winner off scratch.

Powell is striving to join Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa from Madagascar, who was the first to achieve the feat in 1975, and Josh Ross in 2005.

Ross, who also won the Gift in 2003, has been given one metre.

Stawell Athletic Club and the Victorian Athletic League released Gift marks yesterday.

Ballarat’s Matt Wiltshire, who won the world famous 120m footrace last year, will start off 5.5m.

Despite the presence of Powell, which has resulted in most entrants getting a 2m lift, Wiltshire is back from his 8m of last year.

Ross and Wiltshire will be joined by four other past Stawell Gift winners – Mitchell Williams-Swain (2011) 4.5m, Sam Jamieson (2008) 6.5m, Aaron Stubbs (2009) 5.25m and Ballarat’s Rod Mathews (1999) 12m.

Early Gift favourite, Williamstown’s Khan Marr, will start from 5.25m, while Ballarat’s new national under-18 400m champion Sam Baird has 8m.

Stawell Athletic Club and the Victorian Athletic League have received the highest number of entries in the past decade.

Stawell Athletic Club president Scotney Hayter said Powell’s presence had changed the whole race.

“Obviously the major change is the handicap limit being lifted to 12m.

“This has ensured a slight increase in entries from last year, with 150 athletes entering the Gift, easing any concern that Powell’s presence had caused athletes to consider avoiding the Gift,” he said.

“We rely on the Victorian Athletic League stewards to ensure that all events are run fairly at Stawell and they do a very good job of ensuring the integrity of the race is upheld.”

VAL president Matthew Boyes said after many years of attracting international class athletes, it was encouraging they continued to compete at Stawell.

“Handicap running is unique and it’s something that we are very proud of,” Boyes said.

The Stawell Gift Easter Carnival will be run over three days – Saturday, March 30, Sunday, March 31, and Monday, April 1 – with Gift heats on the Saturday and semi-finals and final on Monday.

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