The large and appreciative crowd at Sunday's Crieff Highland Gathering were well entertained with many close and exciting finishes.
The Scottish Heavy Events Championship went to the final discipline of the day before the destination of the title was determined.
In an international line up both the 16lb and 22lb Shot Putt competitions were won by Poland's Lucasz Wenta, the 16lb Hammer was edged by World Champion Rusty Price from USA. Scotland's only victory on the day was that of Craig Sinclair in the 22lb Hammer.
Londoner Scott Rider who is currently Great Britains second ranked shot putter was victorious the 28lb Weight for Distance and also came out on top in a keenly contested Caber competition.
Lukasz Wenta then excelled to throw 16 feet in the the 56lb Weight for Height to claim his third victory on the day.
It wouldn't be enough however to take the coveted Scottish title, as after the all the points were tabulated it saw Scott Rider emerge as the overall champion.
Two recently crowned Scottish Athletics Champions dominated the jumping events, Alan Smith set a new ground record of 1.87m to win the High Jump with Kilbarchan's David Watson doing the LongJump [6.40m] and Triple Jump [13.84m] double.
There was a big entry and close finishes in the running events, the Open 90 metres needed eight full heats, two cross-ties and final and the help of the photo finish camera to decide the winner, and it saw one of the front markers Craig Dougles, Selkirk just edge it from one of the backmarkers Iskan Barskanmay, Jedburgh with Owen Millar, DWF in third in a time of 9.25seconds.
There was a female 1 - 2 in the Open 200 metres with Stef Common, TLJT and Sarah Ross, Pitreavie AC holding off the late charge of Colin Corstairs, Lasswade AC. the winning time for Common was a quick 19.50 seconds.
The 400 metres was one of the races of the day, and it saw backmarker Francis Smith, Pitreavie AC time his run to perfection to mug Colin Corstairs and Scott Robertson, Central AC in the shadow of the winning post in 47.22 seconds.
There were a number of good backmarkers on show in the middle distance races, however they had to play second fiddle to wily old veteran Sam Bates, Tullibody in the 800 metres, Bates made good use of his 210 metres start, and much to the delight of the vociferous crowd who willed him over the line, he held on from the fast finishing back duo of Ross Matheson, Lasswade AC and Craig Robertson, Pitreavie AC. in 1:51.03.
Another runner who is having a good season on the circuit is Shettleston AC's Lachlan Oates, the steeplechaser turned in another powerful performance to get the better of Colin Welsh Kelso in the 1600 metres winning in 4:30.54 with Owen Millar, DWF in third.
Oates however had to settle for second spot in the 3200 metres where he was outgunned by the fresher legs of fellow backmarker Ross Mathieson, Lasswade AC, Ross joined the circuit at the end of July and has now added his Crieff win to those at Airth and St Andrews, he turned in another polished performance in crossing the line in 9:44.38. ahead of Oates with John Thomson, Coaltown of Balgonie in third.
Games newcomers won both the Youths 90 metres and 200 metres events, there were local cheers for Tom Clark, Crieff who just edged out Borders duo Craig Bruce, Selkirk and Jasmine Tomlinson, Jedburgh to win the 90 in 9.94 seconds.
The photo equipment was required again in the 200 with Hamish Innes, Doune coming through from the backmark to snare Nicola Kellock, Lothian RC on the line in 23.28 seconds with current youths points league leader Dylan Lindsay, Glenrothes in third.
There was a Selkirk 1-2-3 in the Youths 800m where victory went to John McLean who repelled the challenge of his training compatriots Jack Stanners and Zena Aziz to win in 4.38.09.
With no recognised backmarkers in the cycling events it gave the middle markers a chance to shine before the big crowd and they soon had them on their feet with some thrilling finishes.
The overall title went to James Melville, Dumbarton who won both the 800 metres and 1600 metres handicaps and was runner up in the 3200 metres and Deil tak the Hindmost, the latter two races were won by the tallest rider on the circuit Gordon Murdoch, East Kilbride.
Published: 2011-08-22 21:30:35