OLIPHANT THRILLS THE CROWDS AT SUN-KISSED AIRTH writes Shane Fenton.
Cyclist Evan Oliphant, Wick who was making a rare appearance on the Games circuit thrilled the big crowd at sunny Airth by winning all four races on the card.
As most of the other riders struggled on the rain softened ground it didn't appear to affect the full time professional rider.
In every race he was giving away huge starts to all his rivals, however, lifted by the constant hand clapping and encouragement from the big crowd he relentlessly reeled them in on each occasion to take victory in the 1600 metres, 3200 metres and 4800 metres Handicaps as well as the Deil tak the Hindmost. Alan Clark,Thurso, Brendan Roe, Valleyfield and Dave Mathieson, Newburgh filled the minor positions behind the Scottish Road Racing champion in all the races.
Oliphant had to head off straight after his final race as he was competing in a Road Race down South on the Sunday.
There was an international flavour to the youths cycling with five riders from the Basque Country and one from Poland joining the Scottish riders. It was the Europeans who won the two youth races on the progamme, with Juan Munitxa taking the 800 metres Handicap and his team mate Manuel Arbulu the 1600 metres Handicap.
In the heavy events it was Scotland against Poland, Lucasz Wenta fresh from his World Caber triumph earlier in the week at Inveraray won both the 16lb & 22lb shot putt events, his brother Sebastien a former World Strongest Man runner up also landed a double with wins in the 22lb Hammer and 56lb Weight over the Bar, not to be outdone there was a Scottish double for Bruce Robb who won both the 16lb Hammer and 28lb Weight for Distance.
The Caber produced a three way tie between Neil Elliot, Bruce Robb and Sebastien Wenta with the overall points title going to the latter.
In the athletic events veteran Walter Hunter, Polmont followed up his win at Balloch the previous week by taking the 90 metres Handicap in 9.72 seconds ahead of Cameron Smith, Tullibody and Jack Beattie, Kelty. Beattie gained compensation in the 200 metres Handicap, getting to the line in 20.45 seconds holding off the late thrust of backmarker Francis Smith Pitreavie AC and Graham Gibson, DWF.
Hurdle internationalist Smith had to settle for the runners up spot once again in the 400 metres handicap where victory went to his training companion Graeme Lister, Kirkcaldy in 40.53 seconds.
There were some good backmarker performances in the middle distance events, Craig Robertson, Pitreavie AC timed his run to perfection to take the 800 metres Handicap in 1 minute 53.44 seconds ahead of Willie Bates, Tullibody and his brother Scott Robertson, Stirling.
Robertson was also involved in a ding dong battle in the 1600 metres along with fellow backmarker Colin Welsh, Kelso, it was the fresher legs of the latter who prevailed in 4 minutes 22.56 seconds with Derek Scott, Hawick third.
Scottish junior cross country champion Ross Matheson, Lasswade turned in a fine performance on his seasonal debut on the games circuit to win the 3200 metres from the backmark, gradually wearing down all his rivals to win in a fast 8 minutes 59,93 seconds, Owen Millar DWF the previous years winner was runner up with Craig Robertson in third.
There was a female 1 - 2 in the Youths 90 metres with victory going to 11 year old Niamh Byrne, DWF who was winning her first race on the Games circuit, her time of 9.99 seconds was good enough to hold off Caitlin Murphy, Pitreavie AC and Dylan Lindsay, Glenrothes.
There was another Pitreavie win in the Youths 1600 metres with victory going to Katey Turner in 4 minutes 47.43 seconds, Dylan Lindsay was runner up with Nicola Kellock, Lothian RC third.
Published: 2011-07-24 21:19:40