In the first of six action-packed days at the Gibraltar 2019 NatWest International Island Games, there were plenty of highlights for the Ynys Môn competitors as eight of their nine travelling teams were in action across the day.
Starting out bright and early with the triathlon competition, having never medalled before it perhaps wasn’t expected that Anglesey would come close to securing some silverware in this event, but go near is exactly what they did as the women’s team, ranked fourth of all entrants, were just shy of grabbing a bronze medal, with the men finishing ninth.
Over in the tennis, Dave Parry and Sion Myers took part in the Team Event for Ynys Môn against Guernsey, falling just short in a pulsating best-of-three encounter, losing narrowly in the deciding doubles match to go down 2-1 overall.
The history-making Ten-pin Bowling side – the first side of the like that Ynys Môn has ever entered in the Games – had a great experience on day one of the singles, competing at this level for the first time ever and benefiting a lot from the standard of competition, although ultimately coming up short in the proceedings against vastly experienced opponents.
In the shooting competition, a very creditable sixth-placed finish in the Olympic Skeet Team Open Final was secured by Dave Jones and Stephen Hays, with Iolo Edwards and Alex Sainsbury taking Môn to a 10th-placed finish in the Automatic Ball Trap Team Open Final.
Regular sailing medallist Dominic Breen-Turner got his campaign for another piece of silverware underway today in a very choppy Strait of Gibraltar and secured two credible race results among a field who all fell foul of the changing conditions at various points throughout their two races on the day.
With eight more races to come before medals are decided, Breen-Turner will be hoping to put in more strong performances over the coming days as he looks to secure another prize for his collection of two golds and two silvers to date.
In the cycling, Tamara Walton-Evans led the Anglesey women’s entrants – despite some mechanical issues before the race with her bike – as they finished seventh in the Team Town Criterium. Walton-Evans placed 19th individually, with Sally Rigg 20th, Ceri Jones 23rd and Anne Glover 24th, which are strong results for the Môn entrants in a field stacked with professional cyclists.
Robert Mansell and Nicholas Owen also put in big shifts in the Men’s Criterium as they took 10th place overall in the Team Event. Both the men’s and women’s teams now have a rest day before they go again in a gruelling Time Trial contest on Tuesday evening.
Three defeats for Lee Matthews’ badminton side in their Team Event today was by no means a reflection of the performances his players put in as a number of close matches across singles, doubles and mixed doubles against Gibraltar, Menorca and Shetland really could have gone either way, but ultimately falling in favour of the opposition.
The team play Bermuda tomorrow (Monday) in the semi-final of the Team Event, before attentions turn to the singles competitions on Tuesday.
History was made for Ynys Môn in the athletics as two young female athletes, Amelia Hucks and Erin Maloney, were among the first athletes ever to compete on the brand new Lathbury Athletics track, specially built for the Gibraltar 2019 Games, as they battled the conditions in the 100m women’s heats. Against vastly experienced opposition in blistering wind, the two girls couldn’t quite progress to the semi-finals, but the experience will stand them in good stead for their other events throughout the week.
Cai Jones (200m), Cai Roberts and Shon Evans (both 800m) gave their all in their heats on Sunday afternoon but didn’t quite make the cut for the semi-finals in a very tough field.
Zachary Price and Ffion Roberts, however, have managed to progress further in their events today as Price came second in his 200m men’s heat after a blistering start around the bend put him in a good position to secure a semi-final berth for tomorrow. For Roberts, she stormed to victory in the 400m women’s heat and has secured a place in the final which will take place on Tuesday night.
In the High Jump competition, 15-year-old Ellis Jones managed a 1.65m effort in the heats – again in a very strong field, but also with strong wind at the venue it made for quite a challenging event, so young Ellis deserves huge credit for the way he persevered in such tough conditions.
For a full list of results and times, head over to www.gibraltar2019results.com, where you can find records, schedules, fact-files and all sorts of information about the various events and get all the latest official results as they come in.