Table toppers!

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The Island’s sportsmen and women finished with 30 offically recognised golds, just ahead of a chasing pack which included Rhodes, Gotland, Faroes and the fast-finishing champions of the previous two Games, Guernsey.

Jersey, who have now topped the Island Games table for a record fifth time, also reaped a fantastic 35 silvers and 27 bronzes.

Perhaps an even more telling statistic is the gap between the total medals won by general manager Jeff Reed’s squad and the rest, with Guernsey coming the closest to Team Jersey’s magnificent 92 total.

This, indeed, was a well prepared team.

A delighted Reed said: ‘It’s been a fantastic Games.

Everyone has performed to the best of their ability and that’s why we are top of the table.

We have had no major problems, just a few logistical issues.

But our team managers did not let that affect them, they just got on with it and put things right as they went along.’ A haul of six golds on the final day of competition was possibly more than Jersey could have reasonably hoped for.

The day started with a brilliant relay victory by the ladies’ 4x400m squad in athletics and finished with 41-year-old Paul Clements putting in a sensational performance to win the triathlon title, as well as leading the way to team gold, with Daniel Halksworth and Scott Pitcher claiming silver and bronze respectively.

Sandwiched between were three shooting golds – a clay target sporting individual title for Jon de la Haye, an individual pistol gong for Dave Ward, who shared another medal with fellow veteran Derek Bernard.

The seven days of competition, with the Jersey team supported by many Islanders, including the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, Mike Vibert, and John Scally of team sponsors Le Masurier, provided many highlights.

Throws star Lauren Therin collected three golds from javelin, shot and discus and maintained her dignity while others in the competition, not from Jersey, did not.

Pain from severely blistered feet was ignored by half-marathon runner Carol Knight to collect a team silver alongside double medallist Amanda Brown.

A Games and RBC Island record fell to the quartet of Ian Black, Andrew Blake, Daniel Halksworth and Simon Le Couilliard, with Black probably emerging as the individual swimmer of the week – high praise in a squad as good as Jersey’s.

Dave Ward collected his 50th Island Games career pistol medal and did not stop there, while Robin Ovenden and Sam Firby raised Jersey spirits after a hassle-filled week for the cyclists, on and off the road.

The lady golfers triumphed through the heat of competition on the baked course at Afandou, Dave Kennedy’s footballers had the strength of character to remain unbeaten despite an early exit from the medal hunt, and there was a brilliant run from the ladies 4 x 400m relay team of Hazel Le Cornu, Gemma Dawkins, Steph Le Cornu and Claire Lidster, the latter bouncing back from earlier disappointments like a champion.

The list could go on and on, but the whole party deserve praise for the way they have handled themselves on the playing fields of Rhodes over the past ten days or more.

Although the final total could change, up or down, if certain protests are upheld, it is highly unlikely to have any great effect on the Jersey position.

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