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''Big Three'' set to do battle for coveted Scottish title at Crieff

SHANE FENTON previews the Crieff Highland Gathering.

Sunday brings the Crieff Highland Gathering which is one of the biggest events on the annual games circuit calendar. The highlight at Market Park as ever will be the Scottish Heavy Events Championship, it is the title all Highland games heavy event competitors Worldwide want on their CV.

This season the heavy event scene has been dominated by 'the Big Three' Lukasz Wenta,Scott Rider and Vlad Tulacek' they haven't had it all their own way however with the likes of Kyle Randalls and Murdo Masterson having their fair share of success in the hammer events. The title is likely to be won by one of the leading trio who have amassed over 1,800 pts between them in the SHGA League.The trend this season shows that there's not a lot between the three of them in the shot. with maybe Lukasz slightly edging it, Scott tends to win the weight for distance events and Vlad the weight over bar. Lukasz has already won the World and British titles at Loch Lomond and Bridge of Allan respectively while Scott claimed the World Caber acolade at Inverarey with Vlad having taken a few WoB ground records. It looks set to be an enthralling contest, one thing is for sure, bookies will give you good odds on any individual equalling Scott Riders amazing performance from 2016 when he won all seven events.

On the track there will be a full programme of running and cycling events, Open handicaps will be run over all distances from 90m up to 1600 metres[all handicaps] with the top prize of the day the £300 which goes to the victor in the 90m. There is an excellent entry for the big prize with Praise Olatoke,Kilbachan starting from the backmark a couple of metres behing Douglas Young,Kelso and Jax Thoirs VP Glasgow.

Luke Traynor brings a touch of class to the Open 800m and 1600m,the Giffnock North athlete who competes on the international stage recently ran 13m 39s to top the Scottish 5000 metres rankings, he has had a good year, he also tops the road 10k list with a time of 28.31 and is second ranked in both the 10k track 29.08 and half marathon 61.55. He has already competed on the games circuit this summer at Thornton and St Andrews winning 5 races out of 6 with the highlight probably at the latter when he stormed through a field of 18 runners to win the 800 metres on the tape.

I highlighted the excellent entry of youth athletes in yesterday's Stirling report well I can reitirate that today with Crieff having an equally good entry with the youngsters set to contest 6 heats in the 90 metres.The Youths have races over 90m, 200m and 1600m. These numbers are good to see, particularly so with the Scottish Athletics age group championships also taking place this weekend.

Multiple Scottish champion Charles Fletcher heads a field of 10 cyclists who will contest races over 800m,1600m,3200m and Deil tak the Hindmost.

.Jumping events have been on the rise in recent years on the games circuit attracting many of Scotland's top ranked athletes. Praise Olatoke and last weekends Scottish Athletics pole vault champion Jax Thoirs head the field. Crieff stage High,Long and Triple Jump competitions

The Tug o' War is always an attraction for the crowds and if it's the sight of tartan you enjoy well outside the main arena a full programme of highland dancing, pipe bands and solo pipers will entertain you throughout the proceedings.


Published: 2018-08-17 14:55:54