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The Falklands show the flag and competition spirit at Commonwealth Games

Tuesday, September 13th 2011 - 20:37 UTC
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The Falklands’ team in the Isle of Man The Falklands’ team in the Isle of Man

The Falkland Islands team that participated in the 4th Commonwealth Youth Games is back following a week of successful competition, contacts and proudly showing the Islands’ flag among the over seventy countries worldwide that were present at the Isle of Man sports’ celebrations.

Natalie Brett and Steve Dent from the Falkland Islands Overseas Games Association wrote a piece on their experience in the Isle of Man and the competition spirit of the week that made the visit to the Isle of Man so enjoyable.

The Falklands’ athletes competed at their best and the organizing committee did an incredible job with everything from ceremonies to transport, accommodation and catering.

On Wednesday, September 7th Sorrel, Jordan, Steve and Natalie visited Jurby Junior School; the children had prepared a medley of traditional Manx songs for us and had created a display about the Falkland Islands in their school street. We spoke to the children about the Falklands and the athletes each spoke about their sports then we answered questions from the children. This was a lovely welcome to the Isle of Man and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

The opening ceremony on the eve of September 7th was very well done; the athlete parade moved quickly and efficiently into the stadium, once everyone was seated there were speeches from the organizing committee, Commonwealth Games Federation and the games were declared officially open by the Duke of Wessex (Prince Edward) then the performance began; a colourful dance and acrobatic performance by local dance and cultural groups.

Thursday, September 8th was the first day of competition and it was a great one! Prince Edward visited the National Sport Centre and spoke with Sorrel, Steve, Mike & Jax Summers, and Natalie after the swimming this morning and Dame Kelly Holmes also visited the events (the team got photos with her).

Sorrel raced the 100m Freestyle followed almost immediately by the 100m breastroke; normally there is a men's event between each of the women's events to give female swimmers a rest between races, unfortunately event 2 Men's 400m IM only had 7 swimmers registered so they moved it to the finals in the evening. This meant Sorrel swam in heat 1 of 3 in the 100m freestyle and then in heat 1 of 100m breastroke; she did very well taking this into consideration finishing in 1:14.22 in freestyle, taking a second and a half off her personal best (set in the Isle of Wight earlier this year) and in 1:34.27 in breastroke, only a couple of seconds off Claire Kilmartin's Falklands record for that event.

In badminton, the team had a good day, scores have been varied but not always reflective of the spirit and effort the players have played with. First to play was Dominic and Laura against Australia's Wong and Guan, they lost in two sets 6-21 and 5-21, being the first game of the day is always difficult and they managed to get some good rallies in. Next on the courts was Jordan and Sonia against India's Kidambi and Kukkapalli, they also lost in two sets 4-21 and 7-21.

In the men's singles Dominic faced India's Joshi, ranked 5/8 going in, who pushed Dominic to the extremes and Dominic responded very well losing a respectful 7-21 and 11-21. Jordan faced Zambia's Mulenga, who he practiced with in training yesterday, Jordan had a couple of strong rallies and lost 9-21 and 11-21.

In women's singles Laura faced Trinidad and Tobago's Fleary, she started strong, had moments of self-doubt, before composing herself and coming back strong in a late effort that left her to lose 16-21 and 8-21. Sonia faced Maldives' Hussain and had a very strong match, getting Falkland Islands first Commonwealth Youth Games badminton win, 21-11 and 21-5. She moved on to face England's Westwood in the top 16, she lost 5-21 and 7-21.

In the men's doubles Dominic and Jordan faced South Africa's Malan and Naidoo; this was a strong battle from the Falklands who ended up losing 13-21 and 10-21. Finally, in the women's doubles Sonia and Laura faced Canada's Tung and Kwok; the girls put up a good fight and lost 3-21 and 8-21.

On Saturday, September 10th Falkland Islands competed in swimming; Sorrel Pompert-Robertson raced in 50m freestyle and 50m breastroke. Compared to Friday she had a better schedule, racing in the 3rd and 8th race of the morning allowing a longer rest between events. In the 50m freestyle Sorrel remained very composed while the swimmer from Malawi in the lane next to her had a false start resulting in a disqualification. She finished the race in 33.78 - a new personal best. Then in the 50m breastroke, with lots of crowd support from badminton, Mike, Jax, and Steve, Sorrel finished the race in 42.21, another personal best and only miliseconds away from the Falklands record for the event set by Claire Kilmartin.

That sums up Team Falklands competition at the Commonwealth Youth Games. The team spent the remainder of their time touring around the National Sport Centre watching various events; including badminton, gymnastics, rugby, and boxing.

The Isle of Man also kindly organized free access to the local cinema in Douglas so the team got to watch Planet of the Apes and a documentary on the Island’s famous TT race as team outings.

Categories: Politics, Falkland Islands.

Top Comments

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  • lsolde

    Well done, people.

    Sep 14th, 2011 - 11:21 am 0
  • Filippo


    Sep 16th, 2011 - 06:28 pm 0
  • lsolde

    Sit down, lad. Now be a good boy & take your medicine. Feel better now? Why don't you have a little sleepums?

    Sep 16th, 2011 - 09:39 pm 0
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