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Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift

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1Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Empty Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:32 pm



Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift 1057200

Form gives James edge
The Examiner
02 Jan, 2011

SOUTH Australian backmarker Robbie James showed his class and grabbed his best career win and $10,000 prizemoney by taking out the 2011 Burnie men's gift against some talented opposition at the Burnie Carnival last night.

The 24-year-old from Woodville North, who is trained by Paul Young, ran from the back mark of 5.5 metres and just finished over the top of two talented Tasmanian teenage runners in 17-year-old Charlie Leek (7.5m) and 18-year-old Jarrod Gilroy (8.25m), who filled the minor placings.

"I felt awesome all day and I was lucky enough to have a little bit easier heat and semi, so I saved it until the final and was lucky enough to get up at the end," James said.

"The guy in yellow - I'm not sure who he was - gave me a scare because I could see him out of the corner of my eye.

"I'm ecstatic. I wanted this for the past year and have been training for it, and Youngy got me up for December and early January and it worked."

James said he ran at the Bay Sheffield Gift on December 28 and made the final, but was disappointed with his run to finish fifth.

"I came here pretty confident and then executed it well in the final, luckily enough," he said.

James said he wanted to run amateurs and get his PB down before contesting nationals in April.

Three Hobart teenagers did the state proud this year by making the final, with 16-year-old Max Waldron joining Leek and Gilroy in the field after interstate runners dominated in an all- mainland final last year.

Gilroy is a novice at the carnivals, but is the state 100m and 200m champion.

Leek mixes football and athletics but showed great form during the carnival week.

Waldron was the youngest runner in the field and is the state under-20 100m, 200m and 400m champion.

Another South Australian, James Boden, plus Victorian Lachlan Taylor made up the gift field.Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift 1057185

2Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Empty Re: Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:31 pm



Mens 120m Gift Final
Red Robbie James 5.50 12.96
Yellow Charlie Leek 7.50 13.00
Pink Jarred Gilroy 8.25 13.04
Blue Max Waldron 7.00 13.16
Green Lachlan Taylor 8.00 13.22
White James Boden 7.00 13.28

Invitation 120m Backmarkers
Blue John Jakeman 1.25 13.60
White Brendan Mathews 1.25 13.62
Green Luke Storta 2.75 13.76
Black Derek Collinge 5.00 13.78
Red Tom Burbidge Scr 14.04
Yellow Ollie Wurm 1.75 14.10
Pink Doug Greenough 3.25 14.14

Womens 120m Gift Final
Yellow Morgan Gaffney 9.00 14.44
Blue Abby Chapman 8.25 14.76
Red Melissa Breen 0.50 14.77
White Danielle Taylor 6.00 14.90
Green Abbey Walters 9.50 15.06
Pink Kate Walters 11.50 15.24

3Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Empty Re: Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:34 pm

Good one


Congrats to Robbie James for winning Burnie. Running well at the right time is a skill and youngys done it 3 times in 4 years. great effort.

4Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Empty Re: Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:23 pm



Thanks G O,

The Robbie James story is a fantastic example of having faith in your ability and being prepared to venture outside your comfort zone.

In 2008 Robbie James had given the sport away after 2 horrendous years of mediocrity. He had never gotten past his heat in a Bay Sheffield nor even made a final of any race in the previous 2 seasons. Not one single collect in anything.

There's no secret I wasn't his favourite person and when I called him in July 2008, having learned he had retired and taken up kickboxing, it took a lot of convincing to get him out and try something different.

I always had an inkling that he was a good bloke who deserved a bit of luck and I was very keen to see him have a crack at a big one, such as the Bay or Burnie. He had a Loxton Gift win off 7.50m, but that wasn't truly representative of his ability. It would have been a terribly sad indictment on the sport of athletics if we let runners the calibre of Robbie James walk away from the caper.

Anyway, since he returned from his 'mini' retirement he's been in two Bay Sheffield finals (7.00 & 6.50) and two Burnie Gift finals (5.75 & 5.50), won 9 races and almost $20,000.

After his narrow 2nd to Russell Scott at the 2009 Bay Sheffield, Robbie was desperate to return to have a crack at one of the big three traditional Gifts and Burnie was the one he wanted. He knew it was achievable and he trained accordingly.

Since he started back in May everything for Robbie was about peaking for Burnie.

The 6.50m for the Bay Sheffield was a bonus that gave him a chance of making the Bay final, but realistically that's all it did, given the calibre of runners like Pusch & Caldow in front of him.

Making the Bay final was the perfect prep for the Bay just as it was for Duncan Tippins and Clay Watkins in 2008 & 2009.

If people knew how much this bloke worked this winter, not only at training but in his job as a commercial painter and on his new house, there was no more deserving winner of a Burnie Gift than Robbie James.

In some ways it's as satisfying a win as any YGTS sash won in the last 10 years. With Duncan's Camden Classic I'd rate it the best win by a YGTS athlete - 5.50m is not a big mark and Robbie is no superstar sprinter but he has a massive ticker and does everything that's asked. A coach couldn't ask for any more than that.

Great win!

Thanks to my family, all the SA contingent, John Henry and Graham Goldsworthy who were in the pub on Saturday night as the news came through of Robbie's win. Great to have someone to share the news with!

5Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Empty Re: Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:02 am



Good work youngy.but $20,0000 he must be well setup now.obviously a typo Smile
robbie definitely deserves admiration for coming back to the sport with 2 successive years of being 1 of the favourites at the bay and being off a lesser mark each year and still performing is a credit to RJ as you have mentioned
just a question on having 3 runs at the bay and going on to win burnie.and u mentioned it worked for duncan and clay,obviously they have proven that this is enough time to recover for this enough time or would they have won more comfortably or possibly performed worsed if they didn't run at the bay?

6Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Empty Re: Robbie James wins 2011 Burnie Gift Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:44 am



Thanks for the typo advice.

In recent years, there's been a few Bay Sheffield finalists win Burnie - Craig Brown, Darren Rogers, Tippins, Watkins & James.

Ollie Wurm was a Bay Sheff semi finalist in 2009 before winning Burnie.

Most of the Tassie Burnie winners in the past run at Devonport and Latrobe.

I think it's the unique position of Burnie that athletes going into New year's Day have generally gotten race hardened in the week prior.

Not sure I'd ever not run a Burnie Gift prospect at the Bay Sheffield. If they are in the right shape then it's an ideal lead up and shouldn't have any effect. And if they run well, there's the confidence they get from featuring in a major final a week before Burnie.

A fit, race-hardened athlete should easily hold a peak for a week.

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