Baird blitzes star-studded 400m line-up

VICTORIAN national under-18 400-metre champion Sam Baird put in a brilliant run to beat a star-studded field in the inaugural Australian 400-metre professional title at the Devonport Carnival last night.

Baird ran an impressive race from the inside lane in the scratch event and ran down some quality opposition to claim the $1500 prizemoney.

He finished with a burst to cross the line ahead of Victoria's national under-18, national 800m champion Alex Rowe and South Australian former Burnie Gift and Bay Sheffield winner Clay Watkins in 48.28 seconds.

The 17-year-old Ballarat runner is trained by Peter O'Dwyer and has only been running for a little over a year, winning his inaugural national 400 title in March.

"I'm pretty stoked with my performance because everyone in the field ran well and was capable of winning," Baird said.

Baird said his aim this season was to earn a spot in the Australian 4x400m team for the next Commonwealth Games and his long-term goal was to represent Australia at an Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, Launceston Stalwell and Devonport Gift winner Andrew Robinson was scratched from the event by coach Ray Quarrell after his gift win the night before, disappointing Baird who said he was looking forward to racing Robinson over 400m from scratch.

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