SOBRIETY and speed sessions have filled the festive season for the cream of the region's athletes.

And this week they will put attempt to claim the coveted New Year Sprint titles at Meadowmill and Musselburgh.

Friday's opening day will see Scotland's fastest man Cameron Tindle fly out the blocks in an attempt to regain the 110-metres New Year Sprint title he won back in 2015.

But the 18-year-old from Berwickshire will have to break the tape - not only in the heats, but also in Sunday's cross ties and final - from the back mark of 1.25 metres.

Defending champion Jazmine Tomlinson, who became the first woman winner in the race's 147 year history, runs from 17 metres.

A total of 60 sprinters will attempt to qualify from Friday's heats at Meadowmill to reach the cross-ties and final at Musselburgh on Sunday.

But no fewer than nine titles will be up for grabs in the opening day's action near Prestonpans.

In the 800 metres, teenagers Kobe Steven (45 metres) of Peebles, Matt Dougal (50) from Galashiels and West Linton's Dominic O'Hare (55) will all be in contention.

Innerleithen's Dean Whiteford (65) will hope to take his cross-country form onto the track.

And former sprinters Matthew Fleming (105) of Kelso and Wallace McGown (110) of Sauchie will be hoping the line comes quickly enough to hold off the back markers.

The backmarker in both the 800 metres and the mile is Australian Eric Sapac.

The 29-year-old recently relocated to London and will prove a danger in both of the middle distance races.

The youths sprint could come down to a duel between the Innerleithen club Leithenburn and the Tweedbank-based TLJT.

John Motion has no fewer than 17 youngsters from Tweeddale entered for the 90 metres with the Bruce Scott boasting a further dozen entries from Tweedbank.

Hoping to break the stranglehold will be Kelso's Douglas Young (5.5), Peebles sisters Samantha (14.5) and Natasha (16) Turnbull, and Chirnside's Josh Abbot (10).

Abbot (70) is also the backmarker in the youths 800 metres where the the ones to catch include Moorfoot Craig Angus (115), Teviotdale's Fraser Clyne (115) and Caris Brus (155) from TLJT.

New Year Sprint promoter Frank Hanlon told us: "The entry for the main New Year Sprint is down this year but we have been encouraged by the number of youths and middle-distance athletes who are taking part.

"There will be a lot of exciting races on Friday as well as the qualification for the main sprint."

Friday's meeting at Meadowmill will start with the heats of the youths 90 metres at 11am, followed by the heats of the 148th New Year Sprint.

The first final of the day will be the senior 800 metres at 12.30pm, followed half an hour later by the youths' 90 metres and half mile finals.

The 1600 metres seniors final is at 1.15pm, just ahead of the 90 metres heats.

The youths 200 metres heats will take place ahead of the veterans' and women's 90 metres finals.

Rounding off the day's action will be the youths 200 metres final and the 90 metres open final.

Sunday's New Year Sprint cross-ties at Musselburgh start from 12.10pm with the final, which is screened live on Channel 4, going off around 2.15pm.