AFTER A successful medal haul at the British and Irish Tug of War Championships, Scotland’s boys are now gearing up for the upcoming World Indoor championships.

The Scottish team made a positive start to their 2020 season, lifting six golds and three silvers at the British and Irish Championships held at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire, at the start of February.

Scotland’s boys are now heavily in training for the World Indoor Championships in Letterkenny ROI between February 20 and 23, where they hope to defend their titles in the two heavy weight 640kg and 680kg categories and to win the 600kg weight. The latter title is of particular interest as the boys had previously held the title for six consecutive world championships before losing it in Xuzhou, China in 2018.

With four weight categories to consider at events, there is a huge amount of pressure on the eight pullers in a team to strike the right balance between training and diet. Most of the boys competing for Scotland hail from an agricultural background or work within the sector.

Biggar farmer Duncan Lyon is part of the Scottish squad gearing up for Letterkenny and told The SF how training was going for the team – and what they are hoping for at the end of the month.

“The UK competition has been a good benchmark to highlight what and where on the rope we need to improve. These improvements are essential for the preparations for world competition in a week’s time in Ireland. We will also be concentrating on improved fitness and continuous dieting to meet our weight categories ahead of weighing at the competition.”

The weigh-in stage is a very important part of the TOW competition and takes place the day before an event using eight-person scales to determine that a team doesn’t exceed the maximum for a given category.

Mr Lyon continued: “The goals for the Scottish squad in the world competition will be to retain our 640kg and 680kg titles and hopefully regain our 600kg title which we lost in the last worlds two years ago in China. A team will also be competing in the 560kg competition, which has previously eluded us in Scotland!

“My wife would say TOW means two months of being 'hangry' but the hardship of the training and dieting is all worthwhile when you are winning a final at the worlds alongside your team mates, especially my nephews who are also part of the squad. My nephews are keeping the family tradition of TOW going into the next generation,” he concluded.