Emotional last day as Team Shetland ends games with 23 medals
Jersey 2015 has come to a dramatic and emotional close for Team Shetland, with three more medals taking the haul to 23.
Katie Bristow returned to the track for the 5,000 metres after disappointment in the 10,000 metres earlier in the week.
Despite leading from the front in a tough field she had to pull out of the race and was unable to finish.
But today she showed great determination and led from the front again.
Guernsey took the lead with five laps to go but Bristow retained a silver medal place and finished in 17.17.
Shetland’s Michelle Sandison also ran strongly and came in fourth with 18.01.
Bristow was crying with happiness after she crossed the finish line.
“Even this morning still if someone comes and asks me how I am, I still start tearing up.
“I didn’t really know how today was going to go, I really wanted to hold it together and I’m so proud I managed to do that because I wanted to show everyone how I can run and how hard I’ve worked for it, not even the past few months but the 11 or so years I’ve been running now.
“For me I always want to keep progressing and it’s more of a long-term goal for me.
“To be only 21 and to be up at the top end of the field is quite an achievement because you tend to peak a little bit older as a distance runner so I know there’s a lot more to come from me.”
Katie’s brother Bobby was also running today. He and Leon Johnson won a silver team medal in the half marathon on Sunday, and both were taking part in the men’s 10,000 metres.
Sadly Bobby had to step off the track with four laps to go but it was a strong race for Johnson.
He finished seventh with 33.25, running a PB and knocking 16 seconds off his previous record.
In the 4×100 metres Shetland took gold with an explosive performance from the lasses and another Shetland record.
Faye Cox, Tamar Moncrieff, Sophie Moar and Kristi Grant ran the fastest time in the heats with 49.60.
In the final they went one better running 49.05.
Cox is the most senior member of the team at 25, with Grant aged 18, Sophie, 17 and Tamar, 16.
For Cox it was her third medal of the games following a bronze in the 100 metres and a bronze in the 200.
Meanwhile it was a second medal for Moar who yesterday won her first medal with a bronze in the long jump.
Cox said: “We can all ourselves the golden girls finally. Our coach Martin told us to watch a DVD called The Fast Girls – that’s about the British relay team so we all watched that the other night so it must’ve inspired us to go for it.”
For the other three runners it was their island games debut and Cox said there was a lot more to come from the trio.
Grant said they were “over the moon”.
She said they felt confident prior to the race but didn’t want to be overconfident of a result.
“The changeovers were a lot better than what they were in the heats,” she said.
Moncrieff added it had definitely given her a taste for the games.
“I definitely want to go to the next games, it has been brilliant.”
Moar’s mum was so nervous she didn’t even watch the race. She watched it back on a mobile phone afterwards.
“I think coming into the home straight we were second to Jersey,” Moar said.
But she powered through buoyed by their success in the heats where they qualified as the fastest team.
Moar made it through to the final of the 100 metres too this week. A fantastic introduction to the games.
For the athletics team it has been their best ever medal total in the games, with ten overall.
Sadly Emma Leask was unable to run in the 800 metres final and the 4×400 relay due to illness.
Elsewhere in the football the blues lost 1-0 to Minorca, missing out on a bronze medal.
But Bristow’s men have put in some superb performances this week and given the supporters, and folk back home plenty to shout about.
The end of the games finished with another medal this afternoon – a silver in the mixed doubles for father-daughter badminton pair Gordon Keith and Shona Mackay.
In a difficult final against Gotland the duo performed admirably losing narrowly in both sets 21-17 and 21-19.
And they were holding back the tears as they took to the podium.
“They were the strongest pair we’ve had over yesterday and today by far, they just didn’t give us the chance to get on the attack and play what we played yesterday at all,” said Mackay.
She added: “Three sets would’ve been nice but with two silly mistakes it was just two.”
Tonight the athletes have been enjoying the closing ceremony and chatting with friends from the other islands.
For throws coach Elaine Park it has been a very special games.
She first competed for Team Shetland in 1997 in Jersey and won her first medal with a silver in the hammer throw this week.
After nine games she had the honour of carrying the Shetland flag into the closing ceremony.
A fitting reward for the dedication she has shown to the team over years.