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Gymnasts lead the way in Bermuda medal haul

Shining stars: from left, Wilson, Francoeur and Webbe

Bermuda won seven medals at the NatWest Island Games yesterday, with the island’s gymnasts collecting five in Gotland, Sweden.

Chantae Wilson picked up a silver in the women’s individual beam and a bronze in the individual floor. Anna Francoeur and Gianna Webbe finished in joint-second place in the individual vault, both picking up silvers.

The trio also won silver in the team floor and vault.

Bermuda’s other medal-winners were Taahira Butterfield, who won silver in the women’s 100 metres, while the men’s tennis team picked up bronze.

Butterfield lost out to Hanna Wiss, of Aland, for gold in the women’s sprint. Wiss won with a time of 12.16sec, with Butterfield trailing in 12.58. Taylah Spence picked up bronze for Orkney in 12.68.

The Bermudian dominated her heat, winning in 12.43, with Aland’s Linn Gustafsson trailing in a time of 13.02. She beat Gustafsson into second in her semi-final too, clocking 12.61 compared to her rival’s 13.04.

Wilson finished second to Tara Donnelly, of the Isle of Man, on the beam, with the Manxwoman also collecting gold in the floor and vault. Donnelly’s compatriot, Nicole Burns, beat Wilson into silver in the floor event.

The trio finished second to the Isle of Man in the team floor and vault with Faroe Islands picking up the bronze.

Taj Lowery just missed out on a medal, finishing fourth in the men’s individual high bar final.

The tennis team of Gavin Manders, Samuel Butler and David Thomas won bronze after losing their semi-final 2-1 to Jersey, following a quarter-final victory over the Isle of Man.

Manders beat Sean Drewry 6-3, 6-1 and Butler defeated Marc Chinn 6-2, 6-1 as Bermuda dominated their quarter-final.

However, Manders lost to Stuart Parker 6-1, 7-5 in the first match of the semi-final, but Butler set up a deciding doubles rubber with a 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 win over Michael Watkins.

Parker and Watkins proved too strong for Manders and Thomas, though, with the Jersey pair running out 7-5, 6-3 winners. Jersey clinched gold with a 2-0 win over the host nation in the final.

In cycling, Bermuda’s men finished fifth in the team time-trial and the women seventh behind some formidable competition. Kaden Hopkins led home the men while Alyssa Rowse was Bermuda’s quickest woman. Hopkins finished eighth in the individual time-trial, Matthew Oliviera thirteenth, Dominique Mayho seventeenth and Che’quan Richardson 47th.

In the women’s individual event, Rowse was fourteenth, Nicole Mitchell fifteenth, Zoenique Williams nineteenth and Gabrielle Arnold 28th.

The cycling competition continues tonight in Gotland with the men’s mountain bike cross-country race, in which Bermuda will be represented by Deshi Smith and Adam Kirk. The road team returns to action tomorrow with the road race.

In volleyball, the women’s team remain undefeated, following up their win over Greenland by beating Gibraltar in straight sets 29-27, 25-15, 25-10. They face Menorca today.

The men rebounded from their defeat by Jersey to beat Cayman Islands in four sets: 25-16, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22. The men’s beach team lost 5-21, 14-21 to Gotland and 7-21, 16-21 to Saaremaa.

Bernard Wade III was fifth in the single WA 1440 men’s recurve archery, with Robert O’Connor 28th. Tiffany Slaton came sixth in the women’s event.

The badminton team — comprising Rowenna Cespedes, Mark Haugen, Danial Hughes, Kwun Wa Lam, Darelyn Legaspi, Denzel Simons and David Wellman — ended up twelfth in the team competition after losing 3-2 to Shetland.