Burnie Gift winner Oliver Wurm celebrates this year's win.
Wurm keen to hang on to Burnie sprint title
BY TERRY MORRIS
17 Nov, 2010
BURNIE Gift winner Oliver Wurm wants to return to West Park on New Year's Day to defend his sprint title.
The Victorian has been in contact with the Burnie Athletic Club expressing his desire to have another shot at the big race.
The Burnie committee was due to meet last night to discuss Wurm's possible appearance on January 1.
Wurm, a former winner of the under 20 Australian 400m crown, caused a surprise in the 2010 Burnie Gift when he beat home fellow Victorians Shaun Hargreaves and Matt Callard.
The 20-year-old is trained by Russian Vasily Grischenov and improved at his second Burnie Gift run after making the semi-finals in 2009.
Wurm will have history against him in his Burnie Gift bid.
The last runner to win it two years in a row was Scottsdale champion Ian Probert, who was successful in 1963 and 1964.
Probert ran from 8 3/4 yards in his first win and 4 1/4 yards the following year.
Burnie is not expected to make any significant changes to its program for January 1 although the fireworks display might be a thing of the past.
Secretary Peter Blake said a fireworks display was planned for Burnie on New Year's Eve and he thought to have it two nights in a row would be overdoing it.
Top Canberra running trainer Matt Beckenham is likely to be represented at the Tasmanian Christmas carnivals series for the first time.
Beckenham represented Australia in the 400m hurdles at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and since his retirement has concentrated on training a stable of runners in Canberra.
He has made contact with carnivals co- ordinator Rod Walker, although he is yet to provide a list of runners who might be coming to Tasmania.
"It will be good if we can get Matt on board, as I expect it could be a long-term arrangement," Walker said.
A few months ago Beckenham was responsible for some of Australia's young athletics talent who competed in the Youth Olympics in Singapore.
Walker said that with many elite athletes enjoying down time after competing in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, he was finding it a difficult task to arrange for them to come to Tasmania.
The Devonport Athletic Club is still waiting for entries from several football clubs for the 4x200m relay, which will be held at the carnival on December 29-30.
Carnivals manager Geoff Rootes said only Burnie, Devonport, Latrobe and Launceston had confirmed for the relay.
Last edited by Admin on Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total