Emma’s golden feat provides fitting end to a memorable week in Bermuda
Record-breaking runner Emma Leask won Shetland’s fifth gold medal of the 2013 NatWest Island Games on the final day’s competition in Bermuda.
Her Friday night victory in the women’s 800m, in a time of 2:11.37, ensured she broke the games record she had set two years ago in the Isle of Wight.
It was a close-run thing, with the hosts’ Tamika Williams finishing only 0.18 of a second behind, ahead of the Western Isles runner Eilidh Mackenzie who won bronze.
It is her third successive island games victory in the 800m. Earlier this week she won a silver at the 400m distance.
It means Team Shetland finish ninth out of 24 in the overall medals table, chiefly thanks to the sterling achievements of swimmers Felix Gifford and Andrea Strachan.
There were eight silver medals and three bronze to add to the five golds, meaning a slimmed-down squad have collectively won one medal more than they did in 2011.
There were some other strong track performances too: the 4x400m relay saw Shetland’s men finish a very creditable fifth. The team – Gareth Robertson, Sean Smith, Haydn Thomason and Alan Williamson – were less than three seconds off the podium in a time of 3:30.75.
In an energy-sapping half marathon, which saw 11 competitors fail to go the distance, Karl Simpson, Peter Fenwick and Bonar Barclay came 14th, 15th and 22nd respectively. Karl and Peter both completed the course in just under an hour and a half, while Bonar finished in 1:39.41.
A spokeswoman for Shetland’s Amateur Athletics Club said: “Well done indeed to Karl, Pete and Bonar – in the heat and humidity to complete the half marathon is a great achievement. Just goes to show what determination you all have and what excellent examples you are to our young athletes.”
* For photos and a round-up of the last two days of the Bermuda games, see next week’s Shetland Times.