Josh Ross has etched his name into history books of Australian athletics once more by becoming the first person to win the Bay Sheffield Gift from scratch.
The 2005 Maitland Sportsperson of the Year won the final in South Australia on Friday, which adds to his scratch victories at both Stawell and Burnie.
Ross said he was proud of his achievement in the 125-year-old race and in completing the clean sweep of major gift events, but the two-time Olympian and six-time national sprint champion still has the Australian record in his sights.
“To be the first one here [at the Bay Sheffield Gift] is special,” Ross said in a post-race interview.
“I’ve now won every major [Australian professional sprint] and it is complete.
“There is one more thing to do and that is to break 10 seconds [for 100 metres] and break the Australian record, then I’ll be happy.”
Ross’ personal best time of 10.08 seconds came in 2007 and sits 15 hundredth of a second behind the Australian record of Patrick Johnson (9.93).
The 31-year-old will endeavour to lower this mark while representing Australia at next year’s world championships, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janerio.
Ross was coached by Gillieston Heights mentor Tony Fairweather when based in Maitland.
Former East Maitland sprinter Laura Whaler missed the Bay Sheffield Gift final of the women’s 120m event after the backmarker finished sixth in her heat.