A memorable week on the Rock – and perhaps, a pivotal one for Anglesey sport – ended with Ynys Môn taking home six medals from the 2019 Island Games.
As six days of intense competition winded down, Iolo Hughes capped off the haul with a bronze in the men’s 1,500m final.
Hughes, who finished 2nd in his qualifying heat on Wednesday, was just over half a second off gold medalist David Mullarkey (Isle of Man) with Jersey’s Elliott Dorey taking the silver in one of the strongest fields of the past week at Lathbury.
Quite fittingly, Dave Tommis, the chairman of Môn’s Island Games Association, was on hand to give Iolo the last of the team’s honours.
The 20-strong athletics squad bowed out with the women’s and men’s relay teams finishing 6th and 7th respectively in the 4x400m finals – the former featuring medalists Ffion Jones (3,000m silver) and Ffion Roberts (400m bronze) with Hughes running again in the men’s final.
Sadly, David Parry had his final bid for a tennis medal cut short by injury. After trailing to Guernsey’s Ben Ferbrache 6-4 in the first set, he was forced to retire during the second.
The only other competition of the day with Ynys Môn interest saw Michael Harrison (25th) and Timothy Garner (26th) take part in the Olympic Trap Individual shooting.
Now, a full check of the day’s results in detail…
Men’s 1500m Final
3rd) Iolo Hughes – 3:55.68
Women’s 4x400m Relay
6th) Amelia Hucks / Catrin Jones / Ffion Jones / Lucy Lawrence / Erin Maloney / Ffion Roberts – 4:07.53
Men’s 4x400m Relay
7th) Shon Evans / Iolo Hughes / Cameron Lawrence / Zachary Price / Cai Roberts / Guto Tegid – 3:29.34
Olympic Trap Individual – Open
25th) Michael Harrison – 76
26th) Timothy Garner – 64
Men’s Junior Plate semi finals
Ben Ferbrache v David Parry – Parry retired in the second set due to injury 6-4, 2-2
The final bragging rights of the Games belonged to Jersey, who topped the medal table with a haul of 93 – including 33 gold, 31 silver and 29 bronze.
Regardless of the final standings, there is a sense of pride and achievement in every one of the 22 islands who converged on Gibraltar for what they dub the ‘Friendly Games’ – and it certainly rang true for Team Ynys Môn both on and off the field of play.
The International Island Games Association’s announcement of a ‘preferred host’ gives added vigour and confidence to the coming twelve months as Anglesey seeks to secure the right to host the 2025 Games. This time, next year, we’ll find out if that hard work has paid off.
The team returns home on Saturday with two gold medals – 17 year-old Eve Goddard-Smith of Rhosneigr, a swimming champion in only her second Games, and Dominic Breen Turner, celebrating his first individual sailing title.
LISTEN: Sailing gold medalist Dominic Breen-Turner talking to Jamie Thomas in Gibraltar.
But every one of the hundred or so athletes who made up Team Ynys Môn in 2019 is deserved of our congratulations for simply doing their island proud, including one of our own – Steve Evans, host of MônFM’s Connections show.
To sum it all up – and with the Inter Island Games football also in mind – the future for sport on Anglesey is looking brighter than ever.
P.S. See you in Guernsey in two years time…