Having finally qualified for the Island Games after missing out on the two previous events by just one second, the 17-year-old took silver behind Brée in the 50m breast-stroke, to the obvious delight of her team-mates.As she mounted the podium to collect her medal the Jersey contingent – including Brée on the step above her – erupted to acknowledge the completion of a four-year journey of commitment and perseverance.
‘I can’t believe it and I can’t explain how I feel,’ said Poingdestre.
‘It’s a great birthday present.
‘This morning I wasn’t sure about what to think of the Games, but it’s buzzing and the atmosphere is amazing.
Everyone’s having fun as well as competing.’Poingdestre’s premier event is the 200m breast-stroke, which she was due to race in today, and after yesterday’s performance she is upbeat about her chances of a medal.’I think that’s set me up for it,’ she said.
‘I know there’s some tough competition, especially Guernsey’s Gail Strobridge, but we’ll see.’The story of Katherine Gamlin is just as remarkable, as she reached her first final last night, in the 100m butterfly, having barely recovered from a horrific motorcycle accident.Gamlin, who broke her back and has pins in her leg, eventually finished fifth and coach Paul du Feu described the courage behind the 17-year-old.
‘To reach a final after what she’s been through is beyond belief,’ he said.Brée, who won 14 golds in Isle of Man two years ago, got her campaign off to the perfect start with victory in the 50m breaststroke, winning in 34.49 sec, while Boucheré’s win came in the 100m breaststroke in a time of 1 min 6.65 sec.There was also a gold for Jersey’s ladies 4x50m freestyle squad – Brée, Ashley Cope, Abigail Faudemer and Eloise Le Cornu.Simon Le Couilliard picked up two silvers, in the 200m butterfly and 50m backstroke and Rosie Barrett won a bronze in the 400m individual medley.
Nathan Jégou just failed to repeat his 2001 success in the 1,500m freestyle, having to be content with silver this time.