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Gibraltar wins first medals as Guernsey games get under way

Gibraltar won two medals during the first day of the NatWest International Guernsey Island Games 2023.

Jonathan Patron took silver in the 25m standard pistol event and again in the team category of the same event alongside Louis Baglietto.

In other sports there was strong competition and some added drama too as the games got under way.

The anticipated triathlon brought a fourth place placement for the men’s team with Robert Matto the first local man home in a time of 2.13.50 followed by Chris Walker in 2.19.13. Both men are veterans of the sport and the Island Games.

Mr Walker is also the team manager and gave this report of the event.

“We had a couple of crashes. Matthew and Nicky both had crashes on the bike, which obviously affected their performance.”

Despite this crash both athletes were the first home in their gender for Gibraltar.

“Remember, for the team it’s their first time at the Island Games. So it's been a really good learning experience for us.”

“The course has been fantastic. The crowd as you've seen have been absolutely amazing.”

“I think all in all we achieved what we what we set out to do, which was to get some experience. And we'll continue to build for Orkney,” he added.

Speaking about his own performance he said he happy because of his love for the sport.

“I wish I was 20 years younger. But and I'm very pleased to how things went for me. You know, I had a good race, actually. And I would have liked to have beaten Robert but yeah, he was he was way stronger than me today,” said Mr Walker.

The triathlon relay will take place on Friday. This will be the first time this event is held at the Island Games. Each person does a mini triathlon. Gibraltar will put in three full relay teams.

In athletics, attaining 4th place in the 10,000m was Kim Baglietto.

Jessy Franco qualified through to the next heat in the 400m, however fellow Team Gibraltar mate Sean Penalver did not qualify.

Rhys Byrne also missed out on qualifying for the next round in the 100m after coming in 4th.

Norcady Reyes missed out on qualifying for the next heat, but secured 3rd place in her race.

In badminton, Gibraltar played a team event in Group B against Guernsey losing 5-0, Ynys Mon winning 2-1 and Menorca losing 5-0.

In sailing Adam Alcantara took 15th place in the first day of racing ILCA 6.

In shooting Gibraltar’s men’s Olympic trap team took 8th place. Louis Baglietto took 6th place in the 25m standard pistol.

Mr Baglietto also took 8th place in the Police Pistol 1 open, while Anthony De Soto took 18th. This resulted in the team attaining 7th position.

In table tennis Gibraltar has joint 4 points with Greenland in the team event. Although they lost their game to Isle of Wight 6-1 and to Greenland by the same result, they won all games against the Falkland Islands.

Jack Anthony was the first player to win a game in table tennis on Sunday morning, describing it as “really good, but intense.”

“I really liked the play that was quite away from the table and I had put one down the line. But, that was a tough play, lots of different spins that were really hard to read and it's quite quick as well,” he added.

In tennis, in the men’s team event Gibraltar lost to Gotland 3-0.

Reflecting on the first day, Gibraltar Team Manager Louis Chichon said: “Up to now the organisation has been good, events are running smoothly, usual teething problems like every games.”

“Shame that our guys had some fourth positions, that is the worst place to be in, but they tried their best.”

CORRECTION: This article has been corrected since its initial publication online. It originally stated Gibraltar had so far won three team medals in the Island Games, when in fact two team medals were won. Contrary to what was previously stated, each member of the team receives an individual medal which is not included in the overall figure.

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