24th September 2018
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Team Shetland hits 20 with more to come

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It’s up to 20 medals now for team Shetland with another for star swimmers Andrea Strachan and Felix Gifford.

On day five Strachan won gold in the 100 metres medley with 1.03. It was her third gold in the games and her fifth overall.

Gifford won his second medal of the games with a bronze in the 400 metres freestyle. He clocked a time of 3.55.

It was also great news in the athletics. The squad is up to eight medals in the games after games debutant Sophie Moar won bronze in the long jump with 5.37 and Faye Cox took bronze in the 200 metres with 25.68.

It is the same medal tally as the games in 2005 which was Shetland’s best medal performance for the athletics.

If they add more today it will be their best games yet.

Young athlete Moar was shocked to get her first medal at the games.

“I never would’ve expected coming to my first island and medalling but I’m pretty chuffed.”

It was a second bronze for Cox after winning a medal in the 100 metres earlier this week.

“It was a good race,” she said.

“I enjoyed running the bend so it was a quick start and I did a really good bend run.

“From 80 metres I was leading and just towards the end of the race my groin and hip started to tighten up, so I couldn’t do a high knee lift and that’s when they caught up unfortunately.”

Sophie Moar with her bronze medal. Photo Kevin Jones.

Sophie Moar with her bronze medal. Photo Kevin Jones.

Cox said she will be ready to race in the 4×400 and 4×100 relay today. Moar is also part of the 4×100 team.

“A lot of our athletes here are really young,” she added.

“It’s their first games and they’ve all been getting personal bests and medals and it mean’s in two year’s time in Gotland when they are going to be two years older and stronger it’s going to be some force to be reckoned with.”

And she was hopeful of some more medals in the bag.

“It just shows with the commitment of the coaches and the time and effort they put in with the athletes, that even when when we’re not at home in Shetland it’s going to be our biggest medal haul yet.”

“We’ve got such a good basis with facilities from the SRT, as well as the coaches and the time and commitment they put in, both together it’s showing we’ve got a win win.”

Meanwhile, it was an emotional day at the badminton as father-daughter duo Gordon Keith and Shona Mackay secured a place in the final of the mixed doubles.

Keith, 54, has bagged plenty of medals for Team Shetland over the years and he and his daughter have a guaranteed silver after beating Greenland 2-0 in the semis.

The formidable pair beat top seeds Rannva Carlsson and Aksel Poulsen of Faroe in the quarter-finals, 2-1.

They face a Gotland pair today.

Keith and Mackay hailed the support from the balcony, with knitwear sporting Andrew Simpson and Andrew Hutton giving it plenty of gusto.

They have been tackling hot conditions all week and Wednesday the badminton players were playing in 40-degree heat.

“Coming from beating the first seeds in the quarter finals, we were just high, it was like we’d won,” said Mackay.

But they had to stay focused when taking on the unseeded pairing in the semis.

Mackay said it was “really,really special” to be competing with her dad.

“I can smell the gold,” said Keith.

“I’m not going to go down without a fight, that’s for sure.”

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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