Third-fastest man Ross eyes Border Gift

AUSTRALIAN sprint sensation Josh Ross is Border bound.

In a huge sporting coup, Ross, who went toe-to-toe with Usain Bolt at the London Olympics, will run in this month’s Albury-Wodonga Gift in a move that has left organisers buzzing with excitement.

He is the third fastest Australian of all-time.

Ross, an Olympic finalist, six-time national champion and just one of three two-time Stawell Gift winners, will contest the $10,000 feature at Albury Sportsground on Sunday, January 27.

He’s the only Australian to win the historic Stawell Gift — by far the nation’s richest handicap foot race — from scratch.

“Josh is an absolute freak, to be perfectly honest,” Albury-raised Gift organiser Tom Burbidge said yesterday.

“Obviously there’s handicaps but he’ll be one of the favourites, regardless.

“He’s too good not to be.

“It’s pretty big news.”

Ross will start from scratch.

The Gift, which made a triumphant return to the Border last year after almost 20 years in the sporting wilderness, looks set to be even bigger and better this time around.

Defending champion Joel Bee will return to defend his crown.

The return meeting last year was voted Victoria’s best in a stunning comeback.

“Joel will be another who will be hard to beat,” Burbidge said.

“He’s still only young and has really sharpened up since last year.

“We can’t wait to do it all again.”

In another major boost to the Gift’s standing, Olympian Melissa Breen will also arrive on the Border for the event.

And she’ll take on the men, too.

Fresh off her first Olympic campaign last year, Breen, who last year became the first female to win the women’s sprint at Stawell from scratch, will compete in both the men’s and women’s events at Albury over 120 metres.

There will be 10 events on the card, with the ever-popular $1000 Fastest Footballer to no doubt be fiercely contested again.

Josh Ross running in the Australian 4x100m relay team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Josh Ross running in the Australian 4x100m relay team at the 2012 London Olympics.