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1 Gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze as Gib celebrates success on day one of NatWest Island Games

Gibraltar scooped five medals on day one of the 2017 Island Games in Gotland including a gold medal in clay shooting, silver in air rifle and pistol and a bronze in the triathlon men’s team with the first bronze of the day also in shooting. Standing fifth in the medals table.

Tempestuous weather conditions on the Swedish island played havoc with many of the outdoor sports had even threatened to put a stop to the triathlon altogether. 

But Team Gibraltar managed to overcome these difficulties and landed a medal haul which included one gold, two silver and one bronze - all from the various shooting disciplines- and ensured that Gibraltar took its place among the leaders of the medals table with a team bronze in triathlon – areas in which Gibraltar has always triumphed.


Harry Murphy and Tom Sawyer secured the Rock’s first gold medal of the inter-island competition in the clay shooting team event. 

Both men were naturally delighted with the result but particularly Mr Sawyer as this is his first ever Island Games medal. 

Mr Murphy told the Chronicle: “We are absolutely ecstatic, it’s been a tough day with almost all seasons in one day; sunshine, wind and rain and with both bright and dull light conditions so it’s been really strange.” 


Gibraltar won its first silver medal of the day in the NSRA 100 yards Prone Rifle team event thanks to the efforts of Wayne Piri and Enrique Luis Boifacio. 

Mr Piri told the Chronicle: “The match was very tricky due to the constant change of conditions. Wind was coming in from all directions and was very difficult to read. There was also frequent changes in the light levels as the clouds began to appear.” 

“Kike also found the conditions quite tricky during his match due to the same reasons. This was also his first ever attempt at 100 yards.” 

Gibraltar's second silver of the day came in the ISSF 10M Air Pistol women's team event. The team consisting of Sasha Alexdottir and Bettina Manner who finished comfortably in second ten points ahead of third place Guernsey and 14 points behind gold medalists the Isle of Wight. 


Another female duo secured Gibraltar its first bronze of the competition. The experienced Stephanie Piri and 14-year old Maired Sheriff overcame a major obstacle in the process of securing the medal ware in the ISSF Air Rifle Team event.
Gibraltar team manager, Darren Sheriff explained: “Yesterday in the technical meeting they did not make any mention that the genders would be mixed, normally as per the programme it was females and men separately.” 
“This also affects the medal tally’s available for the countries but this morning when we came to the firing range we find out that the men and females have been put into one competition together and basically that is very unfair, they’ve had many months to inform us of this and they haven’t and we had to find out at the last day.” 
“We were in the technical meeting yesterday and it was not mentioned,” he added. 
“The difference is that women shoot 40 shots and men shoot 60 and now the women will be required to shoot 60 which is not something that have been practicing for.” 
“We are not very happy with this decision and we will try and appeal this decision,” Mr Sheriff said. 
The decision meant that the women’s competitors had to shoot an additional 20 shots and compete against the men. Understandably, the nerves got to young Mairead but despite this the girls still managed to pull into second place following their relay. 
Gibraltar’s mens competitors Dailen Broton and James Scott, who is Gibraltar’s youngest competitor at 13 years old, were next up. The pair put in a solid performance and finished fifth overall. 
As the results tallied up the girl’s secured third place overall and a bronze medal. Gotland took the gold and Jersey the silver. 

Gibraltar’s mens competitors Dailen Broton and James Scott, who is Gibraltar’s youngest competitor at  13 years old, were next up. The pair put in a solid performance and finished fifth overall. 


High winds and rough seas created difficult conditions fin the triathlon and led to the swim being shortened by a third to 400 metres. 

Gibraltar’s triathlon team is one of strong swimmers and therefore the decision to cut this portion of the race alone did not suit them. 

The Rock’s highest finishing competitor was Andrew Gordon who finished seventh overall with a time of 01:48:11.1

The team faced a long wait to find out if they would be medalling as organisers continued to count the scores some three hours following the end of the race. 

Shortly before 6pm however it was confirmed that Gibraltar had secured a bronze medal in the team event. 

Of the course itself, Gotland had created a unique race track for the triathlon where all three phases had a strong connection to the medieval town of Visby. 

Competitors raced against a backdrop of the medieval city wall and the Baltic Sea. The swim course consisted of two laps with the start in the water. The cycling phase, consisting of four laps, saw some difficult sections with a series of sharp turns and a section of cobble stone. The run course, another two laps, also saw areas of cobble stone. 
The team consisted of Andrew Gordon, Robert Matto, Chris Walker, Sam O’Shea, Mark Francis, Keith Laguea, Edgar Harper and Richard Blagg.

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