POLL: Ross on track to be first man to win three Stawell Gift finals

ATHLETICS 

Former Maitland athlete Josh Ross will attempt to become the first man in history to win the Stawell Gift three times when the prestigious race gets under way this weekend.

However, Ross, who is one of only two men in the race’s 131-year history to win from scratch, will be up against it in the 132nd running of the event when he takes on former 100 metre world record holder Asafa Powell.

The Jamaican will become the fastest man to take part in the Stawell Gift but Ross believes it will be a difficult task for Powell to win from scratch.

“It’s hunger, it’s mindset, it’s self belief, it’s the whole package,” Ross said.

“It’s your training, it’s your lead-up, everything has to be perfect.

“Your moons have to align on the day and they did for me in 2005.”

Ross is confident he can make history by becoming the only man to win the Stawell Gift three times despite starting off a mark of one metre.

“I believe so,” Ross said.

“I know what it takes, I know what has to be done, I know how to do it.

“I have done it twice before and there is no doubt in my mind that I can do it again.”

Powell will have to match the feat of Ross, now based in Melbourne, and Madagascan Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa who are the only men to win the event from scratch in its 131 runnings.

Jamaican Powell (9.72) is the fourth fastest man in history behind fellow countrymen Usain Bolt (9.58), Yohan Blake (9.69) and American Tyson Gay (9.69), however, no athlete has run more sub-10 second 100 metre times than Powell (88).

The 132nd Stawell Gift carnival begins on Friday followed by the heats on Saturday.

The semi-final and final will be run on Easter Monday.

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