Bute Games wrestling silverware heads overseas

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Twenty-two wrestlers from four different countries, and styles, competed in the Scottish backhold wrestling championships at Saturday’s Bute Highland Games.

In the lighter weights, Breton and Scots wrestlers dominated; the British Championship and TB McMillan Salver for 11st 7lbs was won by Gurvan Salaün of Brittany, who beat George Reid of Dundee in the final.

The heavier weights wrestlers from Scotland, Ireland, Iceland and Brittany entertained the crowd with their skills and sportsmanship.

In the close-fought 14st 7lbs final, Ryan Dolan (20) beat his coach, and current European champion at under 81 kgs, Frazer Hirsch (29).

Although Ryan does not have Frazer’s experience, he is a stone heavier and a foot taller than him. Frazer, however, is the only Scot to have beaten Ryan this year - but it was not to be on Saturday.

The open championship (all weights) was the inaugural Bute Open Championship, and the final came down to Dundee’s Ryan Dolan (88 kilo) against Icelandic giant Ólafur Oddur Sigurðsson (36, weighs 121 kilo).

Ryan had never beaten Ólafur but won a fall and eventually lost 3:1; Ólafur Oddur Sigurðsson is now the Bute Open Champion. Frazer Hirsch of Carnoustie came third and Yann Pansard of Brittany fourth.

The next day the Scottish, Icelandic and Breton teams travelled to Grasmere - England’s most prestigious backhold wrestling tournament - where Frazer came second in the 14st category, though Ryan did not make the weight as his kilt took him over the limit.

* For a round-up of all the wrestling, dancing, pipe band, drum major and heavy events results from Bute Highland Games, see the August 30 edition of The Buteman - on sale now!