Rye Gift: Cam Dunbar too strong, again
BY BRAD MCGRATH
18 Jan, 2012
CAM Dunbar has become just the second man to win two Rye Gifts after taking out Saturday's 120-metre showcase at Rowley Reserve.
Dunbar, 30, matched Peter O'Dwyer's 1989 and 2008 feat when he took out the $5000 Rye event after first winning the annual handicap race in 2004.
The Ringwood Athletics Club runner, who has numerous victories in gifts since 2004, said the nerves were in check ahead of the 11am final.
"I guess the experience factor is different, having the confidence and knowing what to do in a final situation. There was one point where a runner broke and you had to re-settle and go again."
Dunbar, who won the Euroa and Keilor gifts in 2010, said the Rye Gift win had taken the monkey off his back after a string of placings over the summer months last year.
"Obviously, I have been planning to win a race all year," he said. "It was great to win a second Rye. I won back in 2004 and I think that only two have done that.
"It's pretty much week by week for me now that I have won a race I can pretty much relax and enjoy the rest of the season."
The son of Rick Dunbar, who won Scotland's famous Powderhall Sprint in 1963 while training under the legendary Jim Bradley, won the gift in a time of 12.2 seconds.
After a false start and then a hold-up to quieten some children who were ringing a bell on the sidelines, Dunbar (off a 7.75m handicap) proved too strong for Kevin Brittain (5.75m) and Mark Hignett (11.5m).
Dunbar is planning on running in Saturday night's St Albans Gift before targeting the Wangaratta and Albury gifts.
Eleni Gilden won the 120-metre women's Diamond Gift off a handicap of 10.75 metres, defeating Kim McDongough and Nadia Domaschenz.