Ross races into Stawell Gift semis

Former Maitland-based Australian sprint champion Josh Ross is on target for a third Stawell Gift.

Ross, looking for a hat-trick of Stawell Gift victories, started nine metres off the front-markers and galloped home in 12.486 to win his heat on Saturday.

‘‘I am ecstatic,’’ said Ross, who won the Gift in 2003 and 2005, with the latter victory coming off scratch.

‘‘I am really happy I am in the semi-final and I believe I have a good chance to do this. I shut down with 30 metres to go, so it is still definitely a fast time.’’

The semi-finals which, niggling injury aside should include Jamaican Asafa Powell, will be run on Monday.

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