Reigning Stawell Gift winner set for return

Last year's Stawell Gift winner Andrew Robinson has readily made himself available for the most prestigious Australian footrace.

Robinson will return for this year's Australia Post Stawell Gift carnival in the hope of claiming his second sash.

The Tasmanian born sprinter last year won the Stawell Gift creating history as the first Tasmanian to win in more than 70 years.

Robinson won off just over 7.25 metres, a handicap that is guaranteed to decrease the second time round.

It was a tight finish in the final last year with Robinson recording a 12.014 adjusted time ahead of Mitchell Williams-Swain and James Vine.

Winning at Stawell is supposedly one of the toughest assignments on a sprinter's itinerary so Robinson will definitely be up against it this year when Stawell welcomes him back.

Only the best can win it twice let alone back-to-back, but Robinson is willing to try.

Robinson describes the event as something very special and unique, adding that he would be coming back to Stawell for many years to come.

"The deep and rich history experienced in the town and the ground of the Central Park makes it unlike any other race," Robinson said.

After winning Australia's most famous footrace last year, Robinson said it was a feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment for not only himself, but for his coach Ray Quarrell and family.

"It was a dream come true to be the 2013 Stawell Gift winner," he said.

"Five years worth of training, effort and dreaming came to realisation in one special day."

Since returning to Tasmania Robinson has been very busy with numerous commitments.

With running certainly a priority for Robinson he has also played an active part in the community by helping out with coaching clinics in schools, delivering speeches at dinners, as well as trying to complete a university degree and maintain a working life.

The 20 year old has in the last couple of months settled back into a normal pre season for athletics training as well as taking part in soccer to help with his fitness base.

Playing soccer throughout the winter is something Robinson has done for many years.

While Robinson isn't a big international superstar yet he is one of the many highlighted athletes who will be in attendance at Stawell this Easter.

Registration for the 2014 Australia Post Stawell Gift officially closed on Sunday as the countdown for this year's Gift is now well underway.

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