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SHANE FENTON reports from a sunny JOHN DIXON PARK

John Dixon Park was bathed in warm sunshine under blue skies for one of the most successful Markinch Highland Games in recent years.

Conditions were excellent for the competitors with the running track in tip top condition and racing fast due to the recent dry spell of weather.

The top prize of the day is the £200 which goes to the winner of the Open 90 metres handicap which was won by Cameron Smith,Central AC who got the decision after the judges had to consult the photo finish after five of the finalists flashed past the post in unison, Lauren Thomson,Fife AC took the runners up spot with Tony Daffurn,Airdrie in third place.

Daffurn went on to gain consolation in the 200 metres as he powered through the field to cross the line ahead of Amiker Best,Pitreavie AC and Kyle Potts,Hawick in a speedy 19.46s

Later in the day Potts turned in a gutsy performance to claim victory in an exciting 400 metres where he edged out Rory Muir,Dundee Hawkhill and Andrew Thomson,Jedburgh in 47.78s.

It turned out to be an excellent day for Rory Muir who landed a double with wins in both the 800 metres and 3200 metres handicaps.. The 800 was an exciting contest with 14 runners taking part, it saw Muir work his way through the field to clinch victory in the last few strides from Rory Anderson,Hawick and Euan Martin,Falkirk Victoria. The 3200 again saw the Dundee Hawkhill runner starting from the backmark and it was only just after the bell he overhauled long time leader Rebecca Burns,Edinburgh AC before going on to land the spoils, the latter stayed on strongly for 2nd place with Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen in third.

Burns went agonisingly close again in the 1600 metres when similar to Blackford the previous week she was overhauled in the shadow of the post by Rory Anderson,Hawick, Euan Martin again finished 3rd.

It was encouraging to see a number of highland games newcomers in the youth running events, many who had travelled up to Fife from the Borders to take part.

The first three home in the final of the Youth 90 metres all came from the John Motion school of runners from Leithenburn. Victory went to Struan Wells who won impressively from Scott Archibald and Rhianna Sterricks. Despite running from a reduced handicap Wells went on to land a double with victory in the 200 metres where Brodie Cowan,Jedburgh and Euan Smith,Central AC filled the minor berths.

In the youth middle distance events there was also a double for Josh Abbot,Kelso. In the 800 metres he came home ahead of Connor Allan,Pitreavie and Hayley Brown,Glenrothes while in the 400 metres he had to work his way through a big field of runners from the backmark before hitting the front only metres from the winning line to deny frontmarkers Steven Bates,Tullibody and Scott Douglas,Forfar.

There was Fife success in the Youths 1600 metres with victory going to Pitreavie's Connor Allan who had to work hard to overhaul Hayley Brown,Glenrothes with Steven Bates in third

It was a great day in the cycling events for Gus Gillies,Peebles who completed the clean sweep of all four races including the Scottish 8000 metres Championship, in the latter where the race quickly split into two groups of four riders it was Gillies who made the decisive break to power home on the very fast under wheel conditions to outstay Paul Gallacher,Kirkcaldy and James Melville Dumbarton. Gillies also won the 800 metres,1600 metres and Deil events.

There was local success in the Youth bike races with Marco Caira,Markinch winning both the 800 metres and 1600 metres races, Ross Birrell,Dalgety Bay and Jamie Penny,Newport chased him home in the 800 metres with Penny and Chris Horden,Edinburgh RC filling the minor placings in the 1600 metres.

The early season form of the heavy event competitors continues to be of a high standard and that continued at Markinch where 8 throwers contested the seven events.

Lukasz Wenta was in fine form in the shot putt winning both the 16lb and 22lb contests, an impressive throw of 57'2'' won the 16lb ahaed of Lorne Colthart and Sinclair Patience. The 22lb was a similar 1-2-3 however only 4 inches seperated the top two on this ocassion. The 28lb for distance is one of Sinclair Patience better events and he won the contest with a throw of 83'8'' from Craig Sinclair who also threw over 80'.

Over the past couple of seasons Craig Sinclair and Kyle Randalls have set hammer ground records at Markinch and they once again dominated with a win apiece. Craig took the 16lb with a throw of 133'10'' to Kyle's 132'11, placings were reversed in the 22lb with Kyle launching the weight out to 109'10'' it was a close contest with only 3 feet seperating the top six.

The competitors had the honour of being the first to throw the new caber at Markinch and following a good competition there was a tie for first between Lukasz and Sebastien Wenta.The brothers similarily tied in the 56lb for height along with Craig Sinclair with all three clearing 15'.

Published: 2016-06-06 12:30:28