Teen sensation firms for Gift
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