Dodds and Hansford lead team to another golden day in pool

Issac Dodds 400m IM NatWest Island Games Guernsey 2023 IG Guernsey 2023. Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (36204334)

JERSEY swimming coach Sian Silvester said she couldn’t be more proud of her team after another golden day in the pool.

Isaac Dodds and Megan Hansford led the way with individual golds in the 400m and 200m individual medleys, while Dodds picked up another gold with Ollie Brehaut, George Storey and Robbie Jones in the 4x50m freestyle relay.

Thomas Deffains won silver behind Dodds in the 400m IM while Gemma Atherley broke her own Island record to also win silver in a pulsating 100m backstroke final. She was pipped to first place by Faroes’ Elisabeth Erlendsdottir, who broke the Island Games record in a time of 1mins 1.07secs, with Atherley just 0.58secs behind.

That was Atherley’s fourth medal of the Games so far and she ended the day with a fifth when, along with Hansford, Erin Goodbody and Siena Stephens, Jersey took home bronze in the 4x50m medley relay after an amazing final leg from Atherley.

Jones also has five medals now as he came second in the 100m butterfly, Clara Ginnis got a bronze to add to the silver she won the day before with a gutsy performance in the 1,500m freestyle and Deffains’ younger brother Matthew won bronze in the 200m freestyle.

‘It’s always hard when you have an amazing first day to come and make sure you can back it up. They proved today that they can, they were buzzing and I am so proud of them,’ said Silvester.

For 16-year-old Hansford, in her first Island Games, winning gold surpassed her expectations. She raced into an early lead in the 200m IM and then never looked like giving it up.

‘I’m absolutely beaming. It’s amazing,’ said Hansford, who finished in a time of 2:20.98. ‘Gold was a surprise. It’s fantastic and an outstanding day for all of us.’

Meanwhile, Dodds now has four golds and a silver from the first two days of action with more on the horizon. He romped home in the 400m IM, winning in a time of 4mins 20.07secs, just 2.5 tenths of a second off the Island Games record and nearly a full eight seconds ahead of Deffains. But despite his outstanding individual performances, winning a relay gold with his team-mates was the one he was particularly proud of.

‘There’s nothing better than being in the arena with all the boys. It’s what sport is all about,’ said Dodds.

‘We’ve trained with each other all our lives and we’re basically a bit of a brotherhood. It’s really nice, it’s really lovely.’

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