The parks, tracks and pools of Jersey were paved with gold today as the Western Isles went medal crazy.
Extending their medal haul to NINE - a figure which equals their all-time NatWest Island Games haul set in Bermuda in 2013, Team WIIGA excelled on a day which will go down in the record books locally as the hottest June day since records began.
Medals were brought back to Hotel Cristina bya heroic quintet of athletes with: Kara Hanlon (200m breast stroke Gold), Donnie Macleod (800m Gold), Eve Carrington (shot putt Bronze), Donald Walker (shooting bronze), Eilidh Mackenzie (1500m silver) returning to the hotel to a roaring applause.
The Men’s football team also clinched a win and with it a chance to climb up the finishers table with a match against Falklands coming on Thursday.
A 3-2 win, which could have been more comfortable but for a missed penalty by Peter Mackenzie in the dying moments, shows the tremendous progress the men have made in just two short days as they adjust to the conditions and standard at the international event.
Craig McCulloch took on the might of what is one of the most difficult disciplines at the Games with the mens road race and our golf team teed off for their first competitions at La Moye Golf Club.
All four of our golfers fared well with Kevin Macrae the best of the bunch on a day when low score cards were as rarely seen as a Hebridean summer.
Our girls qualified well for the women’s 4x100m relay final with Jenny Mactaggart, Abbie Mackay, Eilidh Macleod and Heather Mackinnon bounding round the track in third place.
Elsewhere on the track Donnie was at his peerless best to control the 800m to his own pace and comfortably retain the gold he landed in Bermuda in 2013. WIIGA team mate Michael Macmillan also raced the final despite favouring his foot.
At just 17, Macmillan has more a long line of Island Games to come in his future and medals will follow suit if he continues to show the progress and maturity of recent months.
Carrington had admitted she had been unsure whether to enter the shot-putt or not but she made the right call by lobbing the 4kg weight to bronze glory. Eve has now medalled across four different disciplines and she is certainly Mrs Versatlity in the WIIGA camp, an athletic all rounder who it seems can do it all.
Eilidh Mackenzie lost her grip on the 1500m title she had won three times in a row previously in a photo finish which saw both lead runners collapse over the finishing line. She took home silver in a stunning race in which the Island Games women’s 1500m record was obliterated by FOUR girls in the same race.
Donald Walker showed a keen eye and steady hand to successfully target a bronze gong and bring home the first ever shooting medal for the Western Isles.
And finally, 24-hours of swimming to a silver medal, Kara Hanlon went one better to climb to the top of the podium in the 200m breast stroke and claim both gold and another NatWest Island Games record at the same.
Tuesday has been breathless, relentless and wondrous. The medals began with a trickle but have become a steady flow. And with the talent here at WIIGA HQ I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become a cascading waterfall of gold, silver and bronze.