MacKay shines in sensational gold medal run
Shetland’s young athletes bolstered the medal tally in style – with a sensational run from 16-year-old Seumas MacKay adding a golden touch to day three in Gotland.
MacKay finished fastest in his heats on Monday and broke the Shetland record for a second time on the track today, knocking one second off his time.
Leading from the front scores of Team Shetland athletes and supporters cheered him on to victory.
It was heart pounding stuff as MacKay finished in 1.53.32.
Cayman Islands runner Tahj Lewis finished second in 1.54.51.
MacKay said it felt “unbelievable” to be on the podium.
When asked about his game plan, he said: “I think the heat was too fast on the first lap especially, so the plan was to bring it a bit slower.
“…I think I was pretty bang on in the first lap, so I did feel good. I was expecting people to come chasing after that.
“I felt myself tiring and I thought someone else would just be coming over, but no-one ever did”
An elated MacKay was full of praise for his coach David Wagstaff, with his mum Karen and sister Curstaidh full of pride.
“He’s really, really good, everything he does is so personalised for everyone and it’s such a good group we have as well.
“There’s a middle distance group and he’s the coach of us all and we’re all just another family really.”
Next up for MacKay is the heats of the 1500m tomorrow.
Team Shetland has wracked up seven medals, with two more in the swimming today – a silver from Felix Gifford in the men’s 400m medley and a bronze for Emmie Hutchison in the 50m butterfly.
In a nail-biting finish Hutchison was unlucky not to take silver, clocking a time of 28.67, with Faroese swimmer Vár Erlingsdóttir Eidesgaard, finishing in 28.66.
Tears of joy were flowing on the sidelines with proud mam and swimming coach Lesley Hutchison watching on as well as twin sister Anne.
Gifford bagged his third medal of the games following a gold in the 200m IM and silver in 200m butterfly.
Hutchison was back in the pool for the women’s 4x50m relay medley.
Along with Katie Bain, Kayla Manson and Jasmin Smith, the girls set a new Shetland record of 1.59.53, knocking more than two seconds off the previous one.
The lasses were unlucky to miss out on a bronze medal, pipped by Guernsey who clocked 1.59.36
Many other young athletes have excelled today, including the women’s 4x100m relay team, who were first in their heat in 49.96 seconds with the men’s 100m relay team setting a new Shetland record of 44.47 seconds.
Meanwhile the Shetland football team suffered defeat to Aland in their final group game
The blues were unlucky to go one down after taking the game to the opposition and will face rivals Orkney in a play-off match on Thursday – see separate match report.