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Shane Fenton reports from the shores of Loch Lomond

A crowd of 10,000 was treated to a high standard of competition at the Loch Lomond Highland Games in the Moss O' Balloch Park.

The track and field events were boosted by a trio of top ranked Scottish athletes who are currently back home from their studies in the USA while the World Heavy Events Championship was a truly international occasion with the eight competitors hailing from six different countries.

Allan Hamilton,Edinburgh who currently tops the Scottish rankings in both the long jump and triple jump had a great day with wins in the SHGA Scottish 80 metres Championship, Open 90 metres Handicap and both the jumping events, all events were closely contested affairs. Jax Thoirs who heads the Scottish Pole Vault rankings finished runner up in the long jump and 3rd in both the triple jump and 90 metres and also reached the final of the 90 metres.

Tulsa based Luke Traynor,Giffnock also had a good day with victories in both the Open 1600 metres and 3200 metres handicaps recording an impressive time in the latter on a rain softened track.

Eight runners contested the SHGA 80 metres Championship which was won by Allan Hamilton in 8.12 seconds, half a metre ahead of Greig Kelly,East Kilbride AC and Jax Thoirs,Glasgow City who flashed over the line in unison.

The four heats of the Open 90 metres handicap produced a quality field for the six runner final, in a humdinger of a finish backmarker Allan Hamilton 6.5m forged into the lead in the last few strides to break the tape in 9.25 seconds to deny runner up Callum Field,East Kilbride AC 11m and third placed Kieran Halliday, Central AC 12.5m, Tony Daffurn,Airdrie 8.5m,Jax Thoirs 8m and Kieran Kivlin,Edinburgh 8m completed the line up.

The Open 200 metres saw another tight finish with Kieran Halliday 33m breasting the tape in 21.14 seconds just ahead of the previous weeks Alva sprint winner Cameron Smith,Tullibody 31 and Toby Harris,Edinburgh.

Following his win in the 1600 metres 7 days prior at Jedburgh,Craig Robertson,Pitreavie AC 35m was back in the winners enclosure at Loch Lomond where he battled on strongly to hold off the determined challenge of Callum Field 38m in the Open 400 metres handicap, Willie Bates,Tullibody 45m took third.

Robertson 45m just failed to land a double when in the Open 800 metres handicap he had to play second fiddle to Craig Bell,Forfar 147.5m who produced a tenacious run to hold off all challengers in 1:57.15.

Both the Open 1600 metres and 3200 metres handicaps saw quality runs from the backmark by Luke Traynor,Giffnock who is among the top ranked 5k and 10k runners in Scotland.

Running from the 85m mark in the 1600 he reeled in Zaynah Aziz,Selkirk 350m over the last lap before going on to stop the clock at 4:20.55, Craig Robertson who started from the same mark as the winner finished in third place.

One of the performances of the the day came from Traynor in the 3200 metres, starting from the 40 metres mark he had the race done and dusted with a couple of laps to run, he continued to run the race full out however and was rewarded with an excellent time of 8:48.33.

There was a thrilling finish to the Youths 90 metres which saw Larkhall AC's Maddison Murdoch 22m hang on by the narrowest of margins in 9.84s to pip Josh Bain,Selkirk 14.5m and Steven Bates,Tullibody 26m., Brodie Cowan,Jedburgh,Sean Bates,Tullibody and Euan Smith,Central Accompleted the final line up.

The youth races were boosted by a big entry from the local Clydesdale AC and it was two of their runners who won the Youth's 200 metres and 800 metres handicaps. Rachael Symington 49m took the 200m in 22.41 from Zoe Wilson,Larkhal 66m and Euan Smith 30m. Robert Whittock 190m led home a big field of 21 runners in the Youths 800 metres in 1:56.63, Larkall duo Billy McCauley and Dean Patterson filled the minor berths.

As expected both the high jump and long jump competitions were of a good standard, both were won by Allan Hamilton, he was pushed all the way in both however, in the Long Jump his winning effort of 22' 0'' was six inches further than runner up Jax Thoirs. Hamilton leapt out to 47' 3'' in the triple jump to deny Tony Daffurn 46' 8.5''. On this evidence it would be no surprise to see the Scottish record of 49' 9'' go before the end of the season....or maybe even the end of the week!

There was a field of 8 riders for the cycling events, James Melville,Dumbarton won the opening 800 metres handicap before the rest of the day was dominated by Lewis Champion,Braco who landed a treble with wins in the 1600m,3200m and Deil tak the Hindmost.

There was, as there should be, an international field for the World Heavy Events Championship, the eight man line up was Craig Sinclair,Scotland,Stuart Anderson,Scotland,Lukasz Wenta,Scotland,Sebastien Wenta,Poland,Jason Johnstone,Canada,Scott Rider,England,Matt Vincent,USA and Sebastien Huys Holland.

The title for the fourth successive year was won by Scott Rider, report & full results to follow.

Published: 2016-07-16 22:29:23