CAMPERDOWN export Adam Coote believes a narrow loss laid the foundation for the biggest win of his professional running career.
Coote won the 120-metre Burnie Gift on Wednesday, just days after a photo finish denied him a win in the Adelaide-based Bay Sheffield Gift.
The AFL boundary umpire won the Tasmanian race comfortably in 12.78 seconds. Coote started off 9.5 metres to be equal frontmarker and beat home Hobart backmarker Jesse Usoalii (4m) and Mount Waverley’s Carl Morehouse (6.5m).
The former Pomborneit cricketer’s win built on his Warrnambool and Terang gifts form.
Coote, 31, made both south-west gift finals last month.
“It was great to come up and have a win because I was disappointed to lose by a small margin in Adelaide,” he said.
“I reset my mind and focused on going one better in Tasmania.”
Coote, who ran fifth in the Burnie Gift two years ago, said the win was a career highlight.
“I am pretty happy with the result. It’s been a dream come true,” he said.
“I set myself a goal to win a 120m, a big gift.
“I had a good training program to get myself running well in Adelaide and Tasmania.
“I freshened up and tapered off for the events, whereas with Terang and Warrnambool I was still in heavy training for bigger gifts later in the year.”
Coote is gearing up for his 10th AFL season. The boundary umpire will start pre-season training on January 14.
“It’s always exciting. It’s always good to get back for the start of pre-season because you know the games aren’t far away,” he said.