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Intriguing New Year Sprint in prospect as handicaps are announced

writes Shane Fenton

Ahead of the heats draw on the 4th December, promoter Frank Hanlon has released the handicaps for the 151st running of the 110 metres New Year Sprint handicap.
The athlete who triumphs this year will pick up a cheque for £5000

Uninterrupted by war or weather the event has taken place with unbroken continuity since 1870.

This years race has attracted an entry of 46 runners one of the lowest in the history of the event.
It's not surprising really as that has been the trend on the circuit as a whole in recent years, there was a spike last year for the 150th event.
Nowadays most club sprinters prefer to enjoy the comforts of the many indoor meetings held at the Emirates Arena which take place in and around New Year rather than training outdoors in the vagaries of a Scottish winter.
Sprint numbers on the Games circuit in the summer weren't great either so the signs were there.
Blackford on the opening day saw 27 runners participate in the sprint and that was the highest at any games in 2019.

The task of picking the winner will be no less intriguing with the quality of the field making up for the lack of quantity. Last years first four Greg Kelly East Kilbride AC, Douglas Young, Kelso, Allesandro Schennini Giffnock and Murray Blair Lasswade will renew rivalry with Kelly penalised 3 metres for his second win in the event.

It's encouraging to see many of the the good young and improving athletes who only joined the senior ranks on the circuit over the past couple of years taking their place in the line up. I'm sure a few of them will be primed for a good showing.

4 former winners are in the line up, the aforementioned Greg Kelly his East Kilbride club mate Callum McWilliam, Daniel Paxton, Hawick and Doug Donald, Oakham. A rejuvenated Ian Horsburgh Central AC along with last years Vets winner and multi NYS finalist Cameron Smith also of the Central club head the veteran challenge.

8 female athletes are declared all hoping to emulate the win of Jazmine Tomlinson in 2016, as yet, the only female winner in the history of the race.
Edinburgh AC's Stacey Downie who won the final sprint of the season at Pitlochry will be the female backmarker off 19m. 1.5m ahead of Stacey will be Megan Busby Bell Carlisle Aspatria and Sarah Malone Edinburgh AC.

Heats of the New Year Sprint along with all supporting events will take place on Monday 30th December at the Meadowmill Sports Centre with the semi-finals and final of the New Year Sprint at Musselburgh Racecourse on 1st January 2020.

Link to handicaps....

Published: 2019-11-25 15:53:35