Team Shetland are off the mark in Gotland bagging their first medal of the games in the women’s triathlon.
Lynsey Henderson, Shelley Humphray and Wendy Hatrick took to the stage for their team bronze medals, with the Shetland flag hoisted high over the town square in the centre of Visby.
“It’s brilliant, it’s such an occasion,” said Henderson, beaming with her medal around her neck.
“We were standing in the kitchen [when the team result came through] at about five or six o’clock.
“They put up the wrong results to start with and then they were updating gradually…it was like ‘come on bronze update’ and then ‘what…we’ve got it’.”
It was Humphray’s first island games and the second games in a row that Shetland has taken home a medal in the women’s team triathlon.
The women were the first in the water this morning, though due to a rather choppy sea the distance was cut to 400 metres.
The lasses battled hard against the waves and Henderson was second out of the water.
As soon as you opened your mouth, Hatrick said, you got “a mouthful of water”.
Humphray and Hatrick said the conditions in the sea were quite hard to contend with, though Humphray said it was brilliant to have a medal on her debut games.
Henderson finished 8th overall in 2.07.56, Humphray finished 11th in 2.10.58 and Hatrick 24th in 2.35.13.
Davie Williamson was the first Shetland man to cross the line in 25th place in 1.55.51 for the second event of the day.
Andrew Aitken finished in 32nd place in 1.57.22 followed by Richard Williamson in 43rd in 2.05.03 and Laurence Little, 59th in 2.21.07.
Richard said: “The wind picked up last night, which is a bit of a shame because it was a bit of a mill pond when we went to bed and when we got up this morning it was quite rough.
“I think it did calm down a bit after the women. The women went off and it did calm down a bit for us.”
The men’s course was extended to about 500-600 metres, Richard said.
“It was like a metre swell out there so it was quite tough conditions.”
Aitken said he’d never swam “in anything like it before” and admitted he might’ve shot himself in the foot by saying the worse the conditions, the better for the triathletes.
“[It was] maybe a bit too wild, with the swim anyway. Big swells, you couldnt see the bouys infront of you, everyone was spread out.
“Usually I can get the head down and put a lot of time into the swim and come out in a decent position, but it was a bit too rough for the likes of us, but you just have to take it as it is on the day.”
Surface water on the cobbles also made things tricky: “You don’t want to be to be coming round any tight bends or hitting drainpipes or anything when there’s a bit of water on, it was pretty slippery and pretty sketchy,” Aitken said.
A host of other sports have got underway today, with the footballer’s winning 5-4 against Saaremaa and at the track 800 metre runner Seumas Mackay set a new Shetland record of 1.54.27 in the 800m and was first in his heat.
Mhia Mouat and Faye Cox are also through to the semis of the 100m, as well as strong performances from many other young athletes.
Badminton coach Maurice Haining said his players have picked up valuable experience after battling against Faroe – number one seeds, and Gotland in the team event. The team lost 5-0 in both clashes, though there were two three-set games against the home side.
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