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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Josh Ross keen to rewrite history in Bay Sheff

Josh Ross keen to rewrite history in Bay Sheff

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Ross is keen to rewrite history

By Josh Callinan
The Maitland Mercury
Dec. 27, 2012

Former Maitland sprinter Josh Ross will have to create history if he wants to take out this year’s Bay Sheffield Gift.

Ross has been handicapped off scratch and no runner has won from that mark in the event’s 125 years.

The two-time Olympian, who ­represented Australia in the 4x100 metre relay final at London 2012, has previously won the Stawell Gift (2005) and two Burnie Gifts from the back of the field.

Ross, the 2005 Maitland Sportsperson of the Year, finished a close second at the Bay Sheffield Gift in 2004 when giving up half a metre.

The early betting markets for 2012 have Ross at 20-1 but home-state ­runner Tom Sclanders is the favourite for the 120m race, while Victorian Adam Coote and West Australian Matthew Short are next in the listings.

Ross will start in the 15th and final heat tomorrow at Colley Reserve, South Australia.

In other Bay Sheffield Gift news, former East Maitland sprinter Laura Whaler will be the backmarker in the women’s main race.

Whaler, now living in Melbourne, has a handicap of 0.5m in tomorrow’s 120m sprint while she will take the same mark into today’s 70m race.



Josh Ross must beat odds to claim Bay Sheffield

By Warren Partland
The Advertiser
December 26, 2012

OLYMPIC sprinter Josh Ross's imposing bid to create Bay Sheffield history has been recognised in the betting markets for Friday's rich 120m sprint at Colley Reserve.

Arguably the most successful athlete in Australian professional running history, Ross must run the entire length after being handicapped off scratch. No runner has won from that mark in the 125-year history of the event.

The Victorian has been listed at 20/1 in early betting markets although bookmakers are unlikely to take risks with the speedster.

South Australian Tom Sclanders, trained by Paul Young, is the early favourite after winning the pre-Bay Sheffield Gift, with Victorian Adam Coote and West Australian Mathew Short next in the betting.

Ross, a member of the 400m relay team at the London Olympics, has proved he can come from scratch after winning the 2005 Stawell Gift and two Burnie Gifts from the back of the field.

The Colley Reserve track, however, provides a much tougher test for runners on its kikuyu grass surface.

"You have got to be in good shape to run at the Bay," Young said. "It is a gruelling track in a lot of ways with the kikuyu grass. There is usually a southerly wind which makes it even tougher.

"The blokes who come off scratch have won a lot of big prizemoney races and have earned that mark. There are guys who have run a lot faster off scratch at Burnie and Stawell, but those tracks are easier to run on. Ross won from scratch at Burnie in 12.04 (seconds) but the best time run at Colley off scratch is 12.28."

Steve Brimacombe, the 1991 Stawell and Bay Sheffield winner, clocked 12.28sec to win his Bay Sheffield semi-final from scratch in 1992 before running fourth in the final.

WA's Dean Capobianco owns the record for the skinniest winning mark, coming off 1.5m to claim the crown in 1990 - the same year he won the Stawell Gift.

But Ross had just half a metre when he finished a close second to Andrew Steele in 2004.

Ross will contest the 15th and final heat of the Gift on Friday.

SA's Jordan Caldow will be chasing a third successive Bay Sheffield sprint triumph.


What a fantastic achievement by Josh Ross. He didn't need to run poorly at 'amateur' or 'pro' meets to improve his handicap. He's done the hard work, had the toughest 'pro' mark, got the job done & created some Bay Sheffield history! The crowd absolutely loved seeing the red runner win off scratch.
It was sensational & a privilege to witness JR's win & makes me realize just how good/quick Usain Bolt must be.
Any idea what a comparative time might be on a synthetic track without the 'stiff head wind', do SAAL use/or have a wind reading instrument? I find it hard to believe JR was not good enough to run the 100m at this years olympics.

Last edited by flash on Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:34 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)


ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
I was there with my camera - I met Josh between the semis and the final - Josh's time in the final was 12.48 for 120 metres on grass into a headwind - I reckon one of his finest efforts ever, equivalent to a 10.1 or 10.0 for the 100 metres - it was fantastic to be there to witness history being made.


If Ross was to return next xmas for the 'bay' how would the handicaps work considering he was off scratch? Can they put him behind the scratch mark? In the 2 previous seasons Caldow has been penalized about 3 metres for each win [i think], or do they move everyone else forward about 3 metres? Any further back and he would be on Anzac Highway!


i would not worry about bay next year there are bigger fish to fry before that maybe third big one


Ok, same question, different place . If Ross runs at Stawell does he get a penalty for winning the 'bay' even though he was off scratch? If so, how? Obviously he has won off this mark before, but he is the first sprinter i have seen win a major gift off scratch!


I reckon I must be one of the few or possibly only person to have witnessed Josh's 2 Burnie's, 2 Stawell's and Bay live at each track...unless you were at both Burnie's Youngy??

What a privilege...I had goosebumps when they announced the result at the Bay.

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