Jakarta Bintang player wins Bay Sheffield sprint in South Australia

Saturday, January 03 2009 @ 11:38 pm ACDT

Contributed by: Graeme Carey

Well known Jakarta Bintang, Rob Ballard, has become the oldest winner of the prestigious Bay Sheffield professional foot race at Glenelg in Adelaide, narrowly edging out South Australian favourite Todd Bateman on the line.

The former Olympian was second at the race in 1998 and finally took out the prize on Sunday evening, after several attempts during a 20-year athletics career.

The Bay Sheffield is run over 120 metres (with handicaps) and is one of the major events on the Australian professional foot-running calendar, this year being the 122nd consecutive running, reportedly making it the oldest continually run race in Australia. It has seen many outstanding winners, the last notable footballer being Darren Kappler who began his league career with South Adelaide (82 games) before playing 187 games for Fitzroy, Sydney and Hawthorn from 1987 to 1998. To our knowledge, no Asian-based AFL player has ever competed, pace not being a pre-requisite for most players in the region.

At the generous odds of 20-1 in the AUD 20,000 event obviously bookmakers were unaware of his Indonesian form, and it is expected Rob celebrated long and hard after his triumph.

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