Thomas a surprise starter for Devonport Gift

THE Devonport Gift received an unexpected boost yesterday with the surprise entry of Olympian Tristan Thomas.

Thomas will run in the 400-metre gift on the opening night of the carnival on December 29 and return the following night and compete in the 200m handicap.

"Tristan's entry came as a surprise as he contacted us asking to be entered on both nights at Devonport," athletics co-ordinator Rod Walker said.

It will be the 26-year-old's first appearance at Devonport for three years and expectations are he will be the backmarker for the gift.

"Tristan hasn't been able to compete at the carnivals on a regular basis because of injury and then his commitments for the Commonwealth and Olympic games and it is fantastic to have him here," Walker said.

"Although he's now based in Canberra he grew up in Hobart and we're always pleased to see one of our own do so well."

Thomas is the No.1- ranked 400m hurdler in Australia and made it through to the semi-finals at the London Olympics.

Walker was also able to announce the return of Sydney distance runner Milly Clark.

The 23-year-old will run in 1600m events at the Latrobe and Devonport carnivals.

"Her effort last year to win the 1600m at Devonport was outstanding when she gave up to 200m start to some of her opposition," he said.

"Milly is originally from Launceston and has gone on to be one of the best 1500m runners in Australia.

"We are very fortunate to have these two quality athletes coming to the carnivals and they will certainly make for very interesting racing."

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