More on the Highlander Challenge

"The competition of the Highlander Challenge World Championship at the weekend went really well," Linda Edmunds told IronMind®, sharing an insider's summary of the action.

Linda Edmunds' synopsis follows.

The 2008 Highlander Challenge World Championships by Linda Edmunds

The competitors in the first heat were:

K. Chuprynin (Ukraine)
Stefan Solvi Peturrson (Iceland)
Mike Zolkiewicz (USA)
Johannes Arsjo (Sweden)
Sebastian Wenta (Poland)
Wout Zjilstra (Holland)
Neil Elliot (Scotland)
Mark Felix (Grenada)

The four qualifiers from the heat were: K Chuprynin, S. Wenta, J. Arsjo and W. Zijlstra.

All the events were hard fought with great performances from K. Chuprynin and S. Wenta. Johannes Arsjo, in his first appearance in a highland event won the whisky plunder (a 320-kg barrel carry) in a time of 14.28 seconds and overcame heavier and more experienced competitors to win the wrestling bouts.

The competitors in the second heat were:

G. Edmunds (Scotland)
S. Rider (England)
S. Betz (USA)
D. Barron (USA)
L. Wenta (Poland)
D. Slowik (Canada)
L. Brock (USA)
A. Neighbour (Australia)

The four qualifiers were S. Rider, G. Edmunds, S. Betz and D. Barron.

This heat was also hard fought—S. Rider was the overall winner, with winning throws in the stone putt and caber. The Americans challenged strongly with D. Barron winning the sheaf pitch and S. Betz winning the hammer with a throw of 139' 8-1/2".


The final began with great wins by S. Betz in both the hammer and 28-lb. weight for distance. W. Zijlstra, from Holland, won the famous Grouse challenge caber and J. Arsjo, of Sweden, was magnificent in his win over S. Rider in the pole push. The 56-lb. weight for height was disappointing, with no one reaching 17' and things ending with a three-way tie for first place between J. Arsjo, S. Wenta and W. Zijlstra. Going into the final event of the Pictish stone carry, S. Wenta had a 3 point lead over his closest challenger, S. Rider, but retained his title with by gaining a third place behind G. Edmunds and J. Arsjo.

The final placings were:

1.Sebastian Wenta
2. Scott Rider
3. Gregor Edmunds
4. Johannes Arsjo, Wout Zijlstra (tie)
6. Sean Betz
7. Kyrylo Chuprynin
8. Dave Barron

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