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Day of thrills ,spills and Laura too at Markinch writes Shane Fenton

The large crowd who made their way to the John Dixon Park for the annual Markinch Highland Games were treated to an afternoon of thrIlls and spills and some top quality competition. There was an excellent turn out of competitors for all the track and field events, Scotland's world athletics star Laura Muir was also in attendance to cheer on her brother Rory and also present prizes.

Five different nationalities were among the seven competitors in the heavy events. Vlad Tulacek,Czech Republic set a new ground record in the 22lb shot putt with a throw of 49' 6''  while Scott Rider, Dartford made a gallant attempt to break the World 28lb weight for distance record which was set at Markinch in 2011 with a throw of 95' 10'' by Gregor Edmunds. After winning the competition with a throw of 92' 4'' Scott was given a further three throws to attempt the record but agonisingly fell short on each occasion.

Both the hammer competitions were won by Lukasz Wenta who also shared the weight over the bar with Vlad Tulacek.

There was a thrilling finish and an unfortunate end to the Scottish 8000 metres Grass Cycle Championship, after 26 laps of the track, reigning champion Charles Fletcher,Grantown on Spey retained his title by the distance of a wheel from Gavin Shirley,Castle Douglas. The drama didn't end there as the Dumfries rider couldn't stop himself from careering over the ropes and into the crowd where Davy Rae's Hawick school of runners was sitting. Along with the rider himself it was young Charlie Rae who took the brunt of the collision, both were treated on the field by the first aid attendants with Charlie going to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy to be checked over. A shaken Gavin Shirley didn't ride in the remaining two races.

There was a photo finish to the Open 90 metres handicap wth 4 athletes flashing over the line in unison, after a lengthy look at the photo the decision went to Daniel Young,Kelso who edged out last years winner Marcus Archer,Aberdeen AC  and Tony Daffurn, Airdrie.

One of the track performances of the day came from Rory Muir, Aberdeen AC, in the Open 800 metres handicap, cheered on by the big crowd which included his sister Laura the GB and Scottish internationalist he came through from the backmark passing 13 rivals to win in 1:57.12. from Matthew McKenna Cambuslang and Scott Douglas,Forfar. Laura who was introduced to the crowd also presented the prize to the winner of the Cumbie Bowers Memorial Youth 800 metres Rory Elder, Alloa. Laura won the youth 1600 metres at Markinch in 2007.

It was an eventful day for one of Scotland's top middle distance runners Grant Muir,Giffnock who ended up at Glamis Castle thinking the games were there today, unfortunately he was a week early and made the dash to compete at Markinch which HE thought was next week.Despite arriving late and missing the 800m he showed his class with a fine performance from the backmark in winning the 1600 metres handicap in 4:20.03 from Aidan Thomson,Central AC and Dean Whiteford,Innerleithen. Later in the day Thomson raced to victory in the 3200 m handicap from Rory Muir and Scott Douglas.

Apart from the aforementioned mishap with a cyclist it was a good day for the youth runners all the way up from Hawick.Sean McMichan did the 90m and 200m double before Maddie Patterson made it a treble as she won her first ever race in the 400 metres. Rory Elder,Alloa was another first time winner with victory in the youths 800 metres from brother and sister Erin and Kyle McFarlane Pitreavie.Erin went one place better in the 1600 as she came home ahead of Matty Fleming,Kelso.

As previously mentioned the Scottish 8000 metres Cycle Championship had a thrilling climax with holder Charles Fletcher winning by inches from Gavin Shirley with Alexander McCrae in third. The latter also took Fletcher all the way to the line in the Deil when once again the Cairngorm man prevailed. The fast underwheel surface made for exciting racing none more so than in the 800 metres which saw 16 year old Alex Ball,Linlithgow win his first senior race with Stevie Jackson,Glasgow and Paul Anderson,Perth following him over the line. The 1600 metres was wide open and it was James Melville,Dumbarton who burst from the pack to take the victory from Edward Fletcher,Grantown on Spey and Stevie Jackson.Lucy McLead was the victor in the Youth 800 metres with Isaac Small landing the spoils in the 1600.


Published: 2018-06-03 23:19:15