23rd September 2018
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Three more medals for Shetland

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Day two and another three medals for Shetland – with two golds and a bronze.

Swimmer Felix Gifford was the first Shetland athlete to win gold for the squad, finishing in pole position in the 200 metres butterfly and grabbing a personal best with 2.02.07.

Meanwhile golden girl Andrea Strachan retained her 50 metres breaststroke title with a gold medal and a time of 31.68.

In the athletics sprinter Faye Cox won bronze with 12.39 in the 100 metres.

Rising star Sophie Moar also qualified for the final, and finished seventh with 12.86, in this her first island games.

Gifford said winning gold and defending his medal felt like a weighted lifted off his shoulders.

“I knew it was going to be harder this year because of the larger amount of people who were taking part in the event.”

Thomas Hollingsworth of Guernsey was in the lead just after the first 100 metres though Gifford pulled it back to get first place on the podium.

“I didn’t even realise I’d overtaken him on the last five metres until I looked up on the board.”

“On the last 100 [metres] my mum was going absolutely mental so I imagined that meant I was on for at least a good time.

“The support was awesome from the team this year.”

Strachan said it wasn’t a great swim but was happy to win the medal. It is her fourth gold in the competition since 2005.

“The 50 [metres breaststroke] is always the one I’ve medalled in since 2007 and got into the final in 2005, so it’s always been one I’ve wanted to keep performing well at.”

Kara Hanlon of the Western Isles finished second.

“She’s come on an awful lot and I’ve raced against her the last two years,” said Strachan.

“She has pretty much beaten me all year so I knew I had a big fight.”

Tomorrow the Lerwick lass competes in the 50 metres butterfly and the 200 metres individual medley.

They are different to the 50 metres breaststroke, as Strachan rarely races in them.

“I’ve not actually raced the 200 metres medley since Bermuda so I don’t know how that’s going to go.

“I always like to peak perform in everything I do so we’ll just have to see.”

Strachan has been away oversees, racing and training with Edinburgh University.

And that has stood her in good stead in the lead up to Jersey 2015.

“I always feel my best training is done out in the sun, it’s the best prep I could’ve had I think.”

She said it was good to get off to a strong start, with Gifford winning gold and other swimmers clocking PBs.

“It’s makes a good atmosphere in and amongst the team.”

A happy Cox joined her medal-winning husband Matthew, who won a team silver in the men’s half marathon yesterday.

Sprinter Faye Cox with her bronze medal. Photo Kevin Jones.

Sprinter Faye Cox with her bronze medal. Photo Kevin Jones.

“It was lovely having Sophie Moar in the final with me too,” she said.

“I don’t know the last time Shetland had two finalists in the 100 metres.”

She and Sophie were warming up in the shade before the race to keep out of the sun.

And tomorrow it is expected to hit 30 degrees in Jersey.

“We were lucky with the sprints because you’re not out on the track for too long so you can cope just taking off the jumper.

“We haven’t really had too much of a summer in Shetland to acclimatise really.

“It was a bit of a shock to the system.”

Bermuda took gold and silver with 12.24 and 12.32.

Cox was catching up but said she “ran out of track” by the end of the race.

“That bodes well for the 200 [metres],” she said which will be held on Thursday.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

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One comment

  1. Catriona Waddington

    Faye Cox is an inspiration to many people on Unst to try and get just a little bit fitter. Delighted to see her success in Jersey.

    Reply

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