Each day of competition we aim to bring you a brief round-up of the day’s action here in Gotland with a longer, more detailed roundup, with action photos and interviews in the print version of the newspaper on Thursday.
Sunday began with Stornoway’s Iron Maiden Christina Mackenzie braving waters choppier than Jason on Friday the 13th. So bad were the conditions that Island Games bosses were forced to hack the scheduled 1500m open water swim down to just 400m.#
And even then a number of our swimmers, who bobbed up and down amongst the rising waves like a cork, were blown way off course.
Our own Christina ended up swimming an additional 100m more than she was supposed to.
As always the bike proved to be her strongest leg of the triathlon and she did magnificently well to come home in 16th place. She was less than ten minutes behind fifth place in a field of a number of professional triathletes.
Up at Hejdeby Shooting Range our armed team of sharp shooters were in magnificent form to take fourth place in the Automatic Ball Trap Team event - from a field of 13 islands.
Our boys racked up 156 points and missed bronze by just a single point.
At Stenkyrka our women footballers faced the daunting task of squaring off against Aaland - a side who have their name regular carved into the silverware and who can boast a number of professional players in their ranks.
Isabelle Bain gave the Western Isles an early lead by Aaland hit back within three minutes. Kirsty Macdonald took the ball full force into her face from close range forcing her to be subbed early doors and this disrupted the early W.Isles plans.
They were also down to ten men as Beth Macleod spent a few minutes having an earring removed - at the order of the referee - in which time Aaland scored twice to go 3-1 up.
The Western Isles fell 5-1 behind in the second half before Beth Macleod scored a cracking solo goal to make it 5-2. Although Aaland were strong the girls can take huge credit from their display and as Aaland owed more than a slice of fortune for at least two of their goals which flew in accidentally, and the Isles missed two golden opportunities of their own, on another day this could have easily been a historic win or valiant draw.
Our men footballers also slipped to defeat but this final score too wasn’t perhaps a fair reflection of the 90-minutes on the park.
A tight first-half between the Western Isles and Greenland was tipped in the latter’s favour in the first-half as they were awarded an indirect free kick inside the Western Isles’ box.
This came after keeper James Macleod made a save, then dropped the ball before picking it up again. An indirect free kick was awarded and despite 10 blue and yellow Western Isles shirts strung across the face of the goal, the free kick was touched off and smacked into the top corner.
Greenland added a second before the break and killed things in the second half with the third and final goal.
The men too will look back at key moments in the match and with a match against the hosts tomorrow (Monday) they don’t have long to dwell on this defeat.
Abbie Mackay and Jenny MacTaggart each ran the women’s 100m heats with Abbie earning a place in the final with a good run of 13.49.
A ferocious headwind blasted all the runners on the track down the final straight making conditions very difficult and it had a clear impact on all times on the night.
Andrew Horne and Calum Fraser ran the men’s 200m heats with 24.25 and 24.31 respectively not enough for either to make the finals.
Next up at the windy Gutavallen track were Eilidh Macleod and Eve Carrington. Eilidh got round the track in 62.77 and Eve in 62.64 but neither made the final.
Onto the 800m and Donnie Macleod, of course a two time defending champion at the NatWest Island Games, and Michael Macmillan each cruised through to the final. Donnie ran a controlled gallop around, leaving plenty in the tank, of 1.58.22 to book his spot in Tuesday’s final. Michael was comfortably first in his own heat as his time of 1.58.29 saw him home safely.
In the second heat all eyes were on Shetland runner Seumas Mackay who ran a remarkable full sprint around from the start where he opened up a huge margin over the rest of the pack in his heat to win by almost five seconds. Seeing Seumas take on our Michael and Donnie promises to be a track classic not to be missed.
Duncan McKellar was our sole representative in the men’s 10K and he placed an impressive 12th on what was his first ever 10K on the track. His 34.56 was a very impressive time but some four minutes off the winning gallop.
Finally, in the sand pit, Jenny MacTaggart and Abbie MacKay were in action at the long jump. Jenny took seventh with Abbie 11th in a highly competitive field.