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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Tom Burbidge focuses on Devonport Gift

Tom Burbidge focuses on Devonport Gift

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1 Tom Burbidge focuses on Devonport Gift on Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:41 pm



Burbidge focuses on gift
The Advocate
29 Dec, 2010

STAWELL Gift champion Tom Burbidge reckons he's not much of a sprinter.

However, what sounds like an amazing admission by the winner of Australia's most prestigious professional footrace, is in fact a warning to other sprinters, particularly in tonight's 400m Devonport Gift.

Although the 400m is still considered a sprint event, Burbidge, 25, from New South Wales, rates himself as a better runner over 400m than the traditional gift distances of 100-120m.

Despite winning this year's Stawell Gift (120m) at Easter, Burbidge has decided to concentrate on the longer 400m events this season.

"That's why I'm in Devonport - I'm a better 400m runner than an outright sprinter," he said.

"Devonport's right up there with the most prestigious 400m professional events in the country, so it's definitely on my radar."

Burbidge, who is trained in Canberra by Matt Beckenham, said only the Bendigo Black Opal Gift was worth more than Devonport.

"They've both got $5000 prize money, but you get a fairly valuable opal at Bendigo as well," he said.

"But Devonport is right up there as one of the main races in Australia you want to win if you're a 400m runner."

Burbidge will also be hoping his evening goes better at the carnival after an eventful day flying to the Coast yesterday, only to have his luggage not arrive with him.

"Luckily, I put my running spikes and other gear in my carry-on luggage, so it could have been much worse," he said.

"But I'm happy to be here and looking forward to running in the Devonport Gift - and hopefully my luggage will turn up in the meantime."

Burbidge will start off 16m in heat two tonight, with Victorian distance runner Lachlan Taylor, the backmarker of the field, running off 12m in the fourth heat.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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