This Sunday brings the annual Crieff Highland Gathering which is one of the biggest events on the annual games circuit calendar. The highlight at Market Park as ever will be the Scottish Heavy Events Championship, it is the title all Highland games heavy event competitors World wide want on their CV.
In a week when the Highland games community has been mourning the loss of it's greatest ever 'heavy' the legendary Bill Anderson MBE wouldn't it be great if today's current crop of heavies could conjure up competition to thrill the crowds in the way the great man himself did in winning a record 16 Scottish championships.
Recent results indicate that might well be the case, with the destination of the title highly likely to go to the final event of the seven disciplines. No competitor has dominated all events this season so it is very unlikely that we will witness the feat of 2016 champion Scott Rider who did indeed do the clean sweep, thought to be the only time that has been achieved.Scott was injured the first half of the season but has bounced back to form in recent weeks and a fortnight ago at Bridge of Allan shared the British championship with the current World champion Vlad Tulacek of the Czech Republic, the latter is enjoying a great season and currently has a commanding lead in the SHGA league and will make a bold bid for the title.
As ever Lukasz Wenta has been competing consistently all summer, Lukasz is the reigning Scottish champion and will make a determined bid to retain his title, last month at Inveraray he was crowned World caber champion.
Main Scottish hope to get on the podium will be Kyle Randalls, the Falkirk based thrower has shown great improvement this campaign particularly in the hammer events which he has been winning with regularity.
The intrigue of the championship has been added to by the arrival a couple of weeks ago by American duo Colin Dunbar and Kyle Lille. And boy what an arrival they have made, particularly Colin Dunbar. At the recent back to back meetings at Ballater and Assynt the Californian Kiltie twice threw the 56lb weight over the bar to a height of 17' 4'' which exceeds the current SHGA World record of 17' 3'' set at Inveraray 2years ago by Lukasz Wenta. Unfortunately the weight at Ballater was found to be light but not so at Assynt and the record awaits confirmation. However, don't be surprised to see that height strongly challenged at Crieff so the spectators could be in for a thrilling and spectacular finale to the championship in more ways than one.
On the track there will be a full programme of running and cycling events, Open handicaps will be run over all distances from 90m up to 1600 metres[all handicaps] with the top prize of the day the £300 which goes to the victor in the 90m. There is an excellent entry for the big prize with competotors coming from all over the country to compete. With a £250 prize up for grabs to the winner of the Open 1600 metres handicap an exciting race is in prospect.
For the second time over the weekend it is great to see a big entry for the Youth events which hopefully augurs well for the future. The Youths' have races over 90m, 200m, 800m and 1600m.[All handicaps].
A big field of cyclists will arrive at Market Park,most having competed the previous day at Stirling and Helmsdale. Backmarker in all events will be multiple Scottish champion Charles Fletcher, Grantown on Spey. The bikers have races over 800m, 1600m 3200m plus a Deil tak the Hindmost.
.Jumping events have been on the rise in recent years on the games circuit attracting many of Scotland's top ranked athletes.Crieff stages High,Long and Triple Jump competitions
The Tug o' War is always an attraction for the crowds and if it's the sight of tartan you enjoy well outside the main arena a full programme of highland dancing, pipe bands and solo pipers will entertain you throughout the proceedings.
Published: 2019-08-16 11:48:43