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A forum devoted to track events from 60m to the 2 mile. Mainly pro but also news from local, national and international sprint & middle distance competitions.

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1954 Whyalla Gift Winner Turned Pro. By Accident

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Anonymous
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Gift Winner Turned Pro. By Accident

The Adelaide Advertiser
Friday 5 February 1954


Twenty-four-year old Cliff Osland, who won the Whyalla Gift on Monday at his first professional start, turned professional by accident.

Osland will start in "The Advertiser" Royal Gift of 250 guineas at Norwood Oval on March 18 - the day the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will arrive in Adelaide.

Malcolm Burt, runner-up in the Whyalla gift and winner of the 220-yard event at the carnival, will also run in the "The Advertiser" Gift, which will feature Jamaican star, Herb McKenley.

Osland came to SA from NSW about two years ago and competed in six races for the Adelaide Harriers amateur athletic club.

After he won an event one day, his team-mates told him he should "go on with it."

He saw professional coach Len Sullivan and continued training under him.

Without Sullivan's knowledge, Osland nominated for the Bay Sheffield on Boxing Day - just out of curiosity to see what handicap he would be given.

He didn't know that the very act of nominating would make him a professional. He did not compete in the Bay Sheffield.

He entered the Whyalla Gift, but last Friday was not even sure he would compete.

However he had a special trial run with Australian 220-yard champion Keith Aiston and ran well enough for him to decide to start.

Osland is the second runner trained by Sullivan to have won a Whyalla Gift at his first professional start. The other was Howard Creeper in 1949.

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