Merrien led from the gun and just managed to hold off a late burst by Gotland’s Joakim Daun in the final metres of the race to win in 3 min 51.38 sec.’I’m delighted – this is the gold I wanted,’ said Merrien, after having missed out in the 800m.
‘I told someone I was going to beat the record beforehand but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee me the race.’I didn’t intend to lead in the first lap but I went off quite quick.
I was worried I might get caught at the end but I managed to hold on.’Jersey’s Ian Carter, who beat Merrien to the same title in the Isle of Man two years ago, finished in fifth place in 4.04.57.St Peter Primary School teacher Russell Price took a superb silver in the men’s javelin with a throw of 55m – an excellent result considering he was drafted into the team only recently.Jersey had no runners in the women’s 800m, but Claire Forbes’ 1993 record was under threat from Guernsey golden girl Kimberley Goodall.A slow pace played into the 400m specialist’s hands as she kicked off the final bend to beat team-mate Helen Tolcher, but she missed out on Forbes’ time by under two seconds, finishing in 2.17.21.John Scriven missed out on a bronze medal in the men’s triple jump by 98 cm.
He jumped 12.91m to finish fourth, while young Stephen Phelan was eliminated at the half-way stage after producing only one legal jump, of 11.76.The blue riband event, the 100m, was won by Guernsey’s Ryan de Haaff in a time of 11.18.
Jersey’s Stephen Prosser finished fifth in 11.46, while Kieran Palmer was seventh in 11.73.A classy Guernsey women’s 4x400m relay squad took the win in 3.59.64, with Goodall bringing them home some 40m clear ahead of the Isle of Man and Shetland Islands.
Jersey’s Tara Murphy, Ciara Aherne, Verity Beck and Claire Lidster finished fourth in 4.11.97.It came as no surprise that the Games’ athletics programme closed with yet another gold medal for Dale Garland, the Sarnian superstar leading the 4x400m relay home in front of silver medallists Jersey in 3.19.61.
Jersey’s quartet did well, having been led off by rookie Jordan Lisle, steadied by veteran Alan Harrison, invigorated by Peter Irving and utlimately rewarded by Keiron Palmer, who crossed the line ahead of Cayman in 3.23.36.