Athletes get down to business at Island Games

Flag bearer Carl Morgan (centre) and water carrier Igor Megalhaes lead the team in the opening march.

Athletes from 23 islands, including Cayman, begin competition on Sunday, 24 June, at the 17th NatWest Island Games in Gotland, Sweden.

Getting going early will be the shooting team of Christopher Jackson and Kevin Shirn in the automatic ball trap event, while Michela Pultr competes in the ISSF 10m air pistol women’s event.

The table tennis team of Wayne Haye, Leigh Hipkins, Donavan Nelson, Violetta Pusztai, Peter Smith and Claudia Stich have three matches on Sunday versus Jersey, Greenlalnd, and Guernsey.

Alyssa Dodson is Cayman’s lone participant in the women’s individual triathlon against 26 other competitors.

The team competition also opens in tennis. A three-athlete team of Kevin Fawcett, Daniel Reid and Callum Theaker play their round of 16 matches against Menorca. If they win, they advance to face Jersey in the quarterfinals later in the day.

The national men’s indoor volleyball team has two matches on Sunday. First up is Saaremaa, the Estonian island in the Baltic Sea. Later in the day, a showdown with hosts Gotland beckons.

Cayman’s two men’s and two women’s volleyball teams hit the sand for beach volleyball. Heather Thompson and Stefania Gandolfi play twice in group play, while Illean Powery and Marissa Harrison have one match. Richard Campbell and Shaun Shaller have one outing, as does the team of Nathan Dack and Casey Santamaria.

Men’s and women’s basketballers also hit the court at the ICA Maxi Arena just outside Visby. Both teams play Gibraltar – first up will be the men, followed by their female counterparts later in the day.

A total of six track and field athletes will be the last to get going for Team Cayman. Jamal Walton has his heats for the men’s 200m, Lamar Reid competes in the men’s high jump final, Shalysa Wray and Pearl Morgan run the opening round of the women’s 400m – they are in separate heats, Aijah Lewis is among the finalists for the women’s high jump, and Tahj Lewis lines up for his heat in the men’s 800m.

The full schedule is available here. will bring results as they are finalised and will have video of some of the events later in the day.

The games were declared open Saturday, after the athletes from the various delegations marched through the streets of Visby and interacted with locals before a ceremony that featured the traditional blending of sea water from each of the competing island teams. Two-time Island Games triple jump gold medallist, Carl Morgan, was Cayman’s flag bearer, while young gymnast Igor Megalhaes carried water that was gathered from beaches in Breakers and East End.

Heading the delegation is president of the Cayman Islands Games Association, Janet Sairsingh. She said the convergence of the Cayman contingent to the games would not have been possible without the considerate patronage of the Cayman Islands Government, The Ministry of Sports, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC), Butterfield, Maples, Rotary Club Central, CUC, AON, and the Water Authority of the Cayman Islands.

“With your kind assistance, athletes and officials covering 12 sports: Athletics, Men & Ladies Basketball, Triathlon, Golf, Gymnastics, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Indoor Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Table Tennis, will work toward positions on the medal podium. Together we will be working to make Cayman proud,” Mrs Sairsingh said.

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