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Montevideo, June 25th 2024 - 11:13 UTC

 

 

Falklands win shock archery gold medal at 2023 Island Games

Friday, July 14th 2023 - 10:52 UTC
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Currently there are 24 Islands worldwide, which meet every 2 years to contest 14 sports over a period of 6 days. Photo: Katharyn Daniels (Twitter) Currently there are 24 Islands worldwide, which meet every 2 years to contest 14 sports over a period of 6 days. Photo: Katharyn Daniels (Twitter)

The Falkland Islands (pop. 4,000) produced one of the major shocks in the history of the International Island Games by trouncing the host Island Guernsey by 6-2 to win the Gold Medal in the 'Recurve Head to Head Team Knockout' at the 2023 Island Games.

Spearheaded by the charismatic William Chater, who had previously won a silver medal in the Men's Recurve Head to Head Knockout, and supported by former Attorney General Mark Lewis and 19 year old Islander Kirsty Lewis (no relation to Mark) who was attending her first ever Island games, the trio demolished the Island Of Menorca (pop. 30,000) 6-0 in the quarter-finals. They then faced the powerful Faroe Islands (pop. 53,000) in the semi-finals and after a titanic struggle went through in a shoot-off following a 5-5 tie.

It seemed inconceivable that the Falklands team, which took just 4 archers to the Games, could even make a reasonable challenge to Guernsey (pop.63,000) in the final but they overcame all of the odds to win handsomely 6-2.

This is only the second gold medal that the Falklands have ever won at an Island Games. Their previous success came in 1999 on the Swedish Island of Gotland where Graham Didlick took gold in the Black Powder rifle event.

The Archery Club in the Falklands has a membership of just 12 and they were not expected to challenge for any of the medals throughout the 18 disciplines which were contested throughout the 5 days of competition. The ever confident William Chater said: ”this is just the beginning for us; we hope to improve on our medal total when we head to the Orkney Islands for the next Island Games in 2025'.

Kirsty Lewis, who has just completed her secondary education, was overwhelmed by her success but admitted that she felt far more nervous standing on the podium, waiting to receive her gold medal, as opposed to actually participating the final. She hopes that her future education commitments will allow her to continue to practice the sport in the future.

The Falklands first participated at an Island Games in 1993. Currently there are 24 Islands worldwide, which meet every 2 years to contest 14 sports over a period of 6 days. In addition to the Archery gold and silver medals the Falklands also won silver in the bowls triple event and a bronze in the full-bore King's Individual event to place a credible 13th in the overall medal table.

 

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  • mollymauk

    Shock, horror …. Dastardly implanted colonials militarise stolen territory with mystery new highly accurate lightweight missile system. United Nations consider what action can be taken….

    Jul 14th, 2023 - 11:18 am +4
  • FitzRoy

    Not really a “shock”, more a happy surprise! Well done for doing so well!

    Jul 15th, 2023 - 10:12 am +3
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