With a flute band from Denmark, athletes and heavies from Poland and Australia, cyclists and hill runners from England and dancers from all over the World the 153rd Alva Games was a truly international occassion.
It was the overseas competitors who dominated the popular heavy events with former World's Strongest Man runner-up Sebastien Wenta from Poland winning five of the disiplines, with Aaron Neighbour from Australia winning the other two, Wenta got the loudest cheer of the day from the large Alva crowd when he became to only man to successfully Toss the Caber.
The richest prize on the running track was also won by an overseas competitor with Aussie Ken Telfer following up his 2007 win to take the £400 prize in the Open 90 metres handicap
The Open 200 metres was won by games debutant 16 year old Lyn Livesey from the Law & District Club, while in the middle distance races there was a 400/800 metres double for Scott Robertson, Dunfermline. Scott is currently literally running away with the SHGA league for those distances.
The Golden Mile saw Lothian Running Club's Robert Inglis follow up his win at Cupar the previous week by timing his run to perfection to take the 1600 metres with the evergreen Dean Whiteford from Innerleithen making his trip up from the Borders a profitable one by winning the 3200 metres handicap.
There was some good racing in the Youth events, Ross Maxwell from East Kilbride AC took the 90 metres with 11 year old Jill Cherry from Motherwell on her games debut holding all challengers at bay to take the 200 metres.
There was a Fife winner in the 400 metres with Euan Dyer from Pitreavie AC getting up from one of the back marks to claim victory.
15 year old Craig Wellcoat from Law & District showed impressive running to win both the 800 metres and 1600 metres the latter from the scratch mark.
'Velocipede Handicaps' first appeared on the Games circuit at Alva over a century ago so it was perhaps apt that Highland Games greatest ever cyclist Evan Oliphant should make his seasonal appearance at the Johnstone Park, and the now full time professional didn't let his supporters down by racing to victory in the Scottish 3200 metres Championship.
He didn't get things all his own way however, his brother Lewis pipped him in the Deil tak the Hindmost, Lewis also won the 1600 with James Melvile Dumbarton getting his first win of the season in the 800 metres.
The British Championship Hill Race was won for a fourth successive time by Alistair Dunn from Kendal.
SHANE'S GAMES HIGHLIGHT
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE POLISH STRONGMAN SEBASTIEN WENTA IN BEING THE ONLY COMPETITOR TO TOSS THE HEAVY ALVA CABER, HIS EFFORT PRODUCED THE BIGGEST ROAR AT ALVA GAMES SINCE THE TOWN'S OWN KENNY COOK WON THE HILL RACE BACK IN 1986.
Published: 2009-07-17 22:49:15