The Highland Games kicked off in Scotland this past weekend and England’s Scott Rider took top honors at Blackford.
2011 Blackford Highland Games
by Francis Brebner
The Blackford Highland Games this past weekend signaled the beginning of the Highland Games circuit in Scotland and attracted 15 athletes in total, some coming from neighbouring European countries. Despite a day cold with heavy showers and high winds and an odd glimpse sun at times, the weather did not seem to hamper the throwing in the slightest. The Games were opened by special guest sports presenter Alison Walker of BBC Scotland.
Due to the large number of entries, the throws were restricted to only two per event except for the highlight of the Games, the 28-lb. Weight for Distance British Championships, in which all athletes were allowed three throws each.
In the first event of the day with 16-lb. shot, England’s Scott Rider won with a put of 57’ 6” over his closest rival, Poland’s Sebastian Wenta, whose 55’ put placed him second. In third was Scotland’s Sinclair Patience, son of former Highland Games world champion George Patience, with a personal best of 50’ 10” and in fourth, England’s David Dowson with 49’ 3”.
The 22-lb. open stone was a clear win again for Rider, who lofted a world-class put of 49’ 2”. He was followed by Wenta with 45’ 1”, with Dowson hot on his heels in third at 43’ 7” and Patience in fourth at 42’ 2”.
In the 28-lb. British Weight for Distance Championships, Scotland’s own Craig Sinclair was in a patch of turf all his own, taking the victory with a dominating throw of 83’ 4”. Patience landed in second place at 80’ 10”, yet another personal best throw to his credit. In third spot was Rider with 79’ 4” and in fourth was Scotland’s Bruce Robb, making an appearance in the top four with a throw of 77’ 1”.
In the 16-lb. hammer, Sinclair, who had been nursing a severe rib injury sustained at the end of last year’s season, showed that he was getting back on track by winning this event with a distance of 133’ 7”. Second went to Scotland’s Lorne Colthart at 129’ 9”, with Patience coming in third at 121’ 3” and Scotland’s John McLeod placing fourth at 118’ 10”.
In the next event, the 22-lb. hammer, Sinclair once again showed top form with a sensational throw of 109’ 11”. His nearest rival was Colthart at 103’ 9”. Rider placed third with a distance of 101’ 6”, with Wenta squeezing into fourth place with 98’ 4”.
The caber was 20’ and 125-lb., and Rider won with a toss of 12:10. Colthart’s effort of 12:15 put him in second, with Wenta placing third with 9:15 and Sinclair placing fourth with an 85-degree attempt.
In the 56-lb. weight over the bar, Wenta won the event at a height of 15’. A three-way tie for second place at 14’ was between Rider, Sinclair, and Robb.
Overall points :