THE WINNERSMen's Gift: Shaun Turale.
Women's Gift: Kasey Kuusisalo.
Burnie Wheel: Stephen Pate.
Tasmanian 1600m: Simon Rintel.
Coastal sprinters upstaged their interstate rivals as yesterday's 111th Burnie Carnival provided a volatile mix of celebration and controversy.
Local trainer and former dual Burnie Gift winner Gary Wescombe took a unique double with Wynyard's Shaun Turale and Burnie's Kasey Kuusisalo but proceedings were delayed for nearly an hour following an appeal over the women's Gift.
High-profile Melbourne Track Club manager Nick Bideau claimed the result was wrong and that his runner, NSW sprinter Elona Reinalda, actually won the race. All three place judges and the electronic timer gave the race to 16-year-old Kuusisalo (11.389 seconds to 11.393) who is only in her second year of competitive sprinting.
However, chief judge Joe Vaszocz thought backmarker Reinalda won and Bideau produced video footage from another athlete that he said showed the judges had erred.
After nearly an hour, during which time the amateur video was rejected as inconclusive, the appeal was dismissed.
Bideau said the Burnie Athletics Club was obligated to find a better way of adjudicating close finishes after several similar events in recent years _ all involving the backmarkers in the lane closest to the judges.
Bideau said he would reconsider bringing runners to Burnie if nothing was done before next year.
"I didn't appeal the result because we were desperate to win the Burnie Gift. I appealed because the runners need to know the result was correct and at the moment there is a lot of doubt over this race," Bideau said.
"There is too much at stake with both prizemoney, bookmakers and careers for the latest technology not to be used. There's got to be a better way."
Chief judge Vaszocz said that the BAC would be discussing yesterday's finish as a matter of urgency at its next meeting.
The victory in the $15,000 men's Gift was sweet revenge for 20-year-old frontmarker Turale who was forced out of the carnivals last summer with a hamstring injury.
In front of a disappointing crowd of about 6000 people, Turale, the 4-7 favourite, gave away playing football for Wynyard this winter in return for weights in the gymnasium and now has the trophy for Australia's third richest race.
The $7000 Burnie Wheel continued Stephen Pate's domination of cycling this summer. Pate, 33, has now won the Latrobe, Devonport and Burnie wheel treble and can claim to be the most successful cyclist ever seen at the carnivals with a record five Burnie, four Devonport and four Latrobe victories to his credit.