Joel Bee named Stawell Gift backmarker

BALLARAT’S Joel Bee has been given the distinction of the backmark for this year’s Stawell Gift.

The Melbourne-based Bee will run off 0.75 metres.

This year’s Stawell Gift has a different look to it this year with no marquee overseas sprinters tackling the 120-metre classic at Easter.

Former 100m world  record holder Asafa Powell was the backmarker on scratch last year, while world championships silver medallist Michael Frater from the US had scratch in 2012.

Another past world champion Kim Collins, Saint Kitts and Nevis, had the same mark in 2011.

Bee, who has accustomed to running of backmarks, is coming off a consistent domestic track season,

The 21-year-old’s season bests have been 10.44 seconds for 100m in Melbourne in February and 21.44 for 200m in Melbourne in March.

His Victorian Athletic League performances have featured wins in the Trinity Gift in February and 100m invitation from scratch at Stonnington later in the same  month.

In his latest competition, Bee collected silver in the 100m at the Australian Athletics Championships in Melbourne.

Bee last ran in the Stawell Gift in 2012, when he reached the semi-finals from 4.25m.

He was also a semi-finalist ion 2011 after winning a heat off 6.25m

Matt Carter (1.25m) is next in the marks for the Stawell Gift this year, with Jake Hammond on 1.5m, Andrew McCabe 2m and Jordan Caldow 2.5m.

Carter ran off 4m last year, winning a heat.

He is coming off reaching the 100m semi-finals at the national titles, as is Hammond, who went to contest the final.

Ballarat’s 2012 Stawell Gift winner Matt Wiltshire has 3.75m.

Reigning Stawell Gift champion Andrew Robinson has been pulled 3.75m since last year.

The Tasmanian won from 7.25m in a slick 12.01 seconds and has been given 3.5m.

Other past Stawell Gift winners return to Central Park include Sam Jamieson (4.75m) and Ballarat veteran Rod Mathews (10m).

AUSTRALIAN 100m record holder Melissa Breen  will run from scratch in the women’s gift, 120m, at Stawell.

Teenager Hana Basic has been given 4.25m.

She is the reigning national women’s under-20 100m champion.

Other handicaps include Angela Byrt (5.5m), Lauren Wells (5.75m), Kendra Hubbard (6m), Nicole Kay (6m) and Maddie Coates (6.25m).

Ballarat’s Tara Domaschenz has 7.7m.

Ballarat sprinter Joel Bee will be backmarker at this year's Stawell Gift. Photo: Adam Trafford

Ballarat sprinter Joel Bee will be backmarker at this year's Stawell Gift. Photo: Adam Trafford