Relay girls raise the roof
Bermuda’s athletes were the dominate force in the relay events, winning two gold medals and two silver at the NatWest Island Games’ curtain call last night.
In the women's 4x100 metres, Bermuda’s Natasha Trott, Shianne Smith, Kerri Furbert and Jasmine Brunson stormed to victory, before Trott and Smith joined Tamika Williams and Ashley Berry to scoop the 4x400 metres gold.
The victories saw Smith increase her impressive Games medal tally to five gold and a bronze, while Trott added two gold to the silver and bronze she won in her sprint events earlier this week.
Trott, who ran the opening legs for both relay teams, said she was ecstatic to help make the home support that filled a noisy NSC proud.
“Both races were fantastic for us, especially the (4x400 metres) as we had ran not too long before (in the 4x100 metres),” said the 18-year-old.
“I wasn’t really nervous at all about leading the races because if you get nervous that leads you to not run your race.
Bermuda men’s 4x100 metres team of Bruce DeGrilla, Justin Donawa, Kyle Webb and Ethan Philip managed to grab silver despite missing top sprinter Tre Houston who won gold in both men’s 100 and 200 metres who was off the Island.
Then Bermuda’s 4x400 metres team Darico Clarke, Dage Minors, Kyree Govia and Philip claimed another silver to add to Bermuda’s hefty haul of track and field medals.
Earlier in the evening, Williams won silver in the women's 800 metres, adding to the bronze she grabbed in the 1500 metres earlier this week, finishing in a time of two minutes and 11.55 seconds.
Emma Leask of Shetland Islands won the race for the third consecutive Games, breaking the tape in two minutes and 11.37 seconds a new Games record, while Western Isles’ Eilidh MacKenzie captured the bronze in 2:13.51.
Williams said: “I felt very tired given I had run the 1500 metres a few days ago and it’s very hard to run all these races in the space of four days.
“I wanted the gold bad but in the end (Leask) had more energy than me, so I can’t take anything away from her win.
“Overall I was pleased with my race, the strategy played out well in that I didn’t want to be in the lead but rather just behind the leader.
“I expected to get medals and I’m pleased with what I achieved at these Games.”
Teenager Minors bagged a bronze in the men’s 1500 metres in 4:1.22, while Jersey's Elliott Dorey the England under-20 indoor champion cruised to a comfortable win in 3:55.64 seconds.
Ryan Fairclough of Isle of Man was second in 3:57.88 seconds.
Minors, who also won bronze in the men’s 800 metres on Tuesday, said: “The race was a lot different from the 800 metres in that we paced ourselves and let the race come to us.
“In this race the pace was set early and it was up to us to chase (Dorey) down or get left behind.
“He obviously wanted to win it from the jump and for the most part he was better on the day.”
“I’m pleased with my Games overall; I’ve got a few medals but I could have ran a bit faster and now I’m focusing on improving in that one area.”
In the men’s triple jump, Bermuda’s Chas Smith came fourth with a leap of 14.06 metres.
The heat and humidity played in havoc in the men’s and women’s half-marathons with a high number of athletes including Bermuda’s Stephen Allen, in second at the time failing to finish. Several of those that did manage to negotiate the tough conditions collapsed shortly after crossing the finish line with dehydration and exhaustion.
Christopher Harris, who came fifth and was Bermuda’s top finisher, said: “I definitely did better than I expected. I had no real idea where I’d finish but was hoping for a top ten.
“The conditions were really tough but the home crowd were great especially at Black Watch Pass and as you entered the stadium.”
Bermuda fastest woman was Victoria Fiddick who described the half-marathon as the hardest race she had done.
“I’m disappointed with my performance but I really struggled in the heat and had to fight it all the way this was my worst time in ten years,” she said.
“It was the hardest race I have ever done and I take my hat off to all the finishers, especially those from the other Islands.”
(Official relay and half-marathon times hadn’t been posted by press time last night).