Reigning Stawell Gift champion targets Ballarat Gift

REIGNING Stawell Gift champion Andrew Robinson will pursue more mainland sprint honours in the Ballarat Gift.

This will be the Tasmanian’s third time at the two-day Ballarat Athletic Club Carnival on February 8-9.

Robinson will be among entries, scheduled to be released by the Victorian Athletic League today.

Although the 21-year-old is familiar with Ballarat, he will find himself running in new surroundings with the Gift this year being moved from Eureka Stadium to the Eastern Oval.

“It’s been really good to compete at Ballarat because good sprinters from across Victoria and Australia take part,” Robinson told The Courier. “It’s a great carnival to be involved with.”

Robinson, who ran in the Wangaratta and Albury-Wodonga Gifts at the weekend, said he was taking it one race at a time this season.

The Ballarat Gift fits into his increasingly busy training regime as he prepares to defend his title at Stawell Gift in April.

Running off 7.25m, Robinson denied backmarker Mitchell Williams-Swain (3.5m) by .02 seconds at Stawell, crossing the line in 12.014 seconds. 

He ran off 2.5m at Wangaratta and Albury-Wodonga.

“I’m happy with how things are going and I’m looking forward to getting more races under my belt,” Robinson said.

“I’ve been brought up running carnival events and my coach has always emphasised that carnival is a great atmosphere to compete in.”

However, with his handicap tightening, he is looking for a new challenge. 

“I’m looking to do a little bit more in the amateurs and go to nationals,” Robinson said.

“My coach has encouraged me to take a step in my career.”

“It will be a way to see where I stand in the bigger picture and push myself to see what I’m capable of.

“I don’t have any expectations of my performance on the track but I will see how I go with it.”

david.jeans@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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