HANDICAPPERS have set international sprinter Jade Bailey an almighty task for her first tilt at the Ballarat Women’s Gift, 120m.
The Barbados Olympian will start 3.5m behind scratch, a mark organisers believe could be the furthest behind zero in Australian professional running history.
Sprint coach Andrew Muhlhan, who also promotes the upcoming Stonnington Gift, has brought Bailey out to Australia.
He said the 29-year-old was looking to make her country’s world championships team and, ultimately, a second Olympic Games after competing in Beijing in 2008.
“(The handicap) is a big ask, it definitely is a big ask, but (Jade) says she is just looking forward to getting out there and racing and chasing,” Muhlhan said.
“All the people should come down and watch her run. The Ballarat Gift is definitely a prelude to a higher stage.”
Muhlhan said Bailey had been keen on travelling to Australia on holidays and her trip has coincided nicely with the athletics season.
Bailey has also nominated to run in the Ballarat Gift against the men, where she has been handed a handicap of 11.5m.
She will start 13m ahead of Australian champion Josh Ross, who has been handicapped 1.5m behind scratch in the $20,000 feature. Ross’ mark is also believed to be a record for an open gift.
The two-day Ballarat Gift meeting kicks off tomorrow at Eureka Stadium.