Not brooding over close finish to Gift
BY SHANNON SHEPHARD
03 Jan, 2012 01:00 AM
PHILOSOPHICAL in defeat, Highclere runner Eddie Gates was not interested in contemplating what could have been following Sunday night's second placing in the Burnie Gift.
Just three one thousandths of a second separated Gates from Australian sprint champion Brendan Cole, in what will go down as one of the closest Gift finishes in the history of the Burnie New Year's Day Carnival.
"It was definitely a good race," Gates said yesterday.
"I'm happy with how I went ... there were some pretty good runners in the field."
Gates would have become the first Coastal winner in 14 years, since Somerset's Shaun Turale won off 8.75m back in 1998.
Unfortunately, Sunday night's result fell the same way so many others have for Gates over the past month.
So far this season, Gates has finished second in a total of six races, including the Rosebery Gift along with the 200m and 400m handicap events on the same day, the Devonport Gift last week, the Open 90m Handicap on Sunday and of course the Burnie Gift just hours later.
"I haven't had a win but I've had a good season," he said.
"It would have to be my most successful carnival so far."
Reliving Sunday night's race, Gates admitted he thought he had claimed the title minutes after the race.
"I got off to a good start," he said.
"Then at about the halfway point, I saw a (Cole's) shadow coming up on me so I thought I better move a bit quicker.
"I lunged over the line and looked to my left and saw him cross the line too but it looked like I had him.
"Obviously it would have been good to win but I'm happy with how I went." A strong talent on the Coastal hockey scene, playing with the City Marians, Gates took up running four years ago mainly to keep fit for the sport and has been a regular in the Basslink Carnivals since.
Gates has been under the guidance of Coastal running veteran John McLaren, who coached 1978 Gift winner Gary Wescombe.
While admitting there was a sense of disappointment for the young athlete, McLaren said there were plenty of positives to take from the experience.
"I'm elated he run so well, he has worked hard for it," McLaren said.
"The judges gave their decision and there was no point jumping up and down about it.
"You win some, you lose some and there are still plenty more races on the horizon for him.
"He is a nice young lad who does as he is told, has good family support and works hard, so provided things stay on track, who knows what he could do."