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Is Stirling sprint winner an omen for New Year?

SHANE FENTON previews Stirling Highland Games.

A weekend of top quality track and field action is in prospect on the Highland games circuit with the meetings at Stirling on Saturday and Crieff[preview tomorrow] on Sunday, both attracting good entries.

Helmsdale Games also takes place on Saturday.

Following the Games park at Stirling Sports Village resembling a quagmire in places at the close of last years games, work has since taken place to improve the conditions for both competitors and spectators alike. It certainly looked a lot better when the track was laid out earlier this week.

Anyone who takes an interest in the New Year Sprint would do well to note down the winner of the 90 metres Handicap at Stirling.Probaby just a coincidence but the record books show that the last 3 winners at New Year-Calum McWilliam,Greg Kelly and Jazmine Tomlinson- all won in the summer at Stirling before going on to win the coveted prize at Musselburgh Racecourse on January 1st.

McWilliam is declared to defend his title at Stirling but won't be backmark, that honour goes to Praise Olatoke,Kilbarchan who last weekend finished runner up in the Scottish Athletics 100 metres championship at Grangemouth. Jax Thoirs ,VP Glasgow who took the pole vault title at the same meeting is also among the entries. The latter duo will also contest the jumps events. The female contingent is headed by Stacey Downie,Edinburgh AC and Samantha Turnbull,Peebles who will be attempting back to back wins following her victory ay Perth last week.

Despite clashing with the Scottish Athletics age-group championships it's good to see over 30 youth athletes down to participate. Open athletes have races over 90m,200m,400,800m and 1600m with the Youth's the same apart from the 1600m.

Once again there is a good field of cyclists, they will contest four events, 800m,1600m,3200m and Deil tak the Hindmost.Under-wheel conditions are likely to be soft,hopefully not as bottomless as last year when at times it was difficult to determine who was who!

As ever the heavy events will be popular with the crowds, they will do battle in all the traditional disciplines. A full Highland Dancing programme is scheduled, there will also be races for Overseas visitors as well as the kids. A pipe band will also be in attendance to entertain the crowds at various times during the afternoon.

Traffic in the Stirling area is likely to be busy with 45,000 fans set to attend the Runrig 'Last Dance' concert.


Published: 2018-08-16 21:44:03