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Big crowd witness great day of entertainment at St Andrews.


Shane Fenton reports from the OLD COURSE HOTEL

The rain stayed away and a huge crowd thronged around the arena in the Station Park for the 35th St Andrews Highland Games.

The Games which take place in the shadow of the famous Old Course Hotel are now one of the most popular on the circuit among both spectators and competitors. The crowd was boosted by a large number of overseas visitors many taking part in the special races put on for them.

An afternoon of non stop action featured Highland Dancing, Solo Piping, Heavy Events, Tug o War, Running and Cycling as well as fun races for the children which brought out large numbers from the crowd.

The running events brought together competitors from the Highlands to the Borders as well as Canada andthe USA.

The Youth runners outnumbered the seniors on this occasion which was encouraging to see and such was the entry for the 800 metres it had to be split into seperate races for boys and girls, a Youth relay was also added to the programme.There was local success with Isla Thoms, Balmullo out-battling Archie Suttie Anstruther to win the Youth 1600 metres, Borderer Mattie Fleming finished in third place. The latter also finished runner up in the Boy's 800 metres where victory went to Archie Suttie with Kyle McFarlane Pitreavie AC in third place. The Girls 800 metres saw victory go to Kerry McIntosh Clydesdale AC who crossed the line ahead of Anna Suttie Anstruther and Hannah Steel Lothian Running Club. The prizes to the first three were presented by current GB internationalist Sarah Inglis who next month will run the 5000 metres for GB at the European Cup team international in Poland,Sarah is a former SHGA female athlete of the year.

Clydesdale AC juniors had a good day and had the first two home in the final of the Youth 90 minutes, after a lengthy look at the photo the verdict went to Lucy Denholm over her club mate Declan Osbourne,Ryan Morrison Kirkcaldy finished in third place.. The latter had better fortune in the 200 metres storming through to take the tape ahead of Kyle McFarlane with Robbie Morrison in third place.

In the Open 90 metres handicap former finalist Ian McEwan East Kilbride snapped the worsted ahead of winners from the previous two days, Douglas Young, Kelso who won at Langholm on the Friday and Samantha Turnbull TLJT who was victorious the previous day at Airth Games.

Callum Letham Central AC won a closely contested 200 metres from Crail Bruce Selkirk and Natasha Turnbull TLJT. Craig Bruce went one better in the 400metres winning the battle to the line over Ewan Bradley Inverness with good USA athtlete Damien Wehrley in third place..

Despite running from a pulled mark for his success at Airth the previous day, David Allan Balloch still had enough petrol in the tank to edge out veteran Don Bradley Inverness in the 800 metres handicap with backmarker Ron Loewen Canada making rapid late headway to finish in third place. The Canadian who intends competing in a few of the games over the next few weeks again finished in 3rd place in the 1600 metres behind John Thomson Glenrothes and Jamie Massie Forfar. Thomson had won the same race at the same venue 30 years prior.

In the longest running event of the day Canadian Loewen finally made his games debut a winning won as he came through the field from the backmark of 110 metres to take the tape ahead of John Thomson with the previous days Airth winner Dean Whiteford Innerleithen in third.

One of the fastest runs of the day came in the Ladies overseas visitors race, the crowd were astonished by the speed of the girl who broke clear of the large field to storm to victory. It was later found out that she was an international tri-athlere from Switzerland.

10 bikers contested the cycle events many still suffering from the exertions in the bottomless conditions at Airth the previous day.. The opening 800m went to Davy Mathieson Newburgh from Paul Gallacher Kirkcaldy and Paul Anderson Perth.Lewis Stewart Glasgow came through from the backmark to take the 1600m with Gallacher again second and Mathieson third. Gallacher eventually got his wheel over the line first in the 3200 m with James Melville Dumbarton and Craig Hamilton Edinburgh filling the minor berths.. The final cycle event, the Deil tak the Hindmost went the way of Lewis Stewart from Paul Gallacher and Craig Hamilton.

Grampian Tigers brother and sister Reubens and Heidi Thomson shared the top prizes in the three bike races with Heidi winning the 800m and Reubens the 1600m and one lap handicap.Aaron Murray East Kilbride was runner up in all three.

Heavy and Tug o War to foll



Published: 2019-07-28 22:32:13