JERSEY have capped a magnificent week in the pool with another clutch of medals – including four golds – on the final day of swimming action at Beau Sejour.
The 39 swimming medals returning to the Island – comprising 15 golds, 12 silvers and 12 bronzes – represents Jersey’s best medal haul in the pool at an Island Games.
Swimming lead coach Sian Silvester said: ‘It is our best medal haul that we’ve ever had. Our previous best was in Bermuda so it’s been a long time coming and I just think the team have been unbelievable.
‘There have been so many stars within the team – it’s not just been one person, it has been a real group effort.
‘Obviously just finishing that relay and to have a gold in the last race is very special, especially because after four days of racing they’re all shattered.’
It was the trio of Isaac Dodds, Robbie Jones and Gemma Atherley who claimed individual wins on day five of Guernsey 2023 to add to their vast respective collections but perhaps the crowning moment for Team Jersey came in the final race of the week as Atherley, Jones, Megan Hansford and George Storey took the 4x50m mixed relay race.
Jersey sent Storey out for the first leg, followed by Jones, and the pair established a good lead.
But Guernsey had their power duo of brothers Charlie-Joe and Ronny Hallett taking the penultimate and final legs and they set about eating into the Jersey advantage.
Hansford swum well to keep Jersey in front and give Atherley enough of a lead to defend as Jersey claimed gold in a time of 1:38.30 – 17-tenths of a second ahead of the Guernsey team. Cayman Islands came in third for bronze.
Earlier in the evening, Isaac Dodds showed once again why he is king of the longer distance events – taking gold in the 400m freestyle in a time of 3:57.01 and claiming his seventh gold of the Games in the process. Dodds led a Jersey 1-2 on the podium with Matthew Deffains taking silver.
Atherley edged out the Cayman Islands’ Alison Jackson and Faroes’ Alisa Bech Vestergård in an incredibly entertaining 100m freestyle race. Jackson had led for much of the event but Atherley had a better turn coming into the final 25m to nudge in front and take gold in 57.35.
There were also two medals in the 50m freestyle – silver for George Storey and bronze for Ollie Brehaut behind Isle of Man’s impressive Joel Watterson. Watterson would go on to be the scourge of Jersey later in the evening as he chased down Dodds in the final leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay to consign Jersey to silver.
Atherley would also claim bronze in the 50m backstroke while there would be two bronze medals for Clara Ginnis in the 200m butterfly and 800m freestyle with Jones winning gold in the 100m backstroke.
Another tightly contested race saw the Faroe Islands take silver ahead of Jersey in the women’s 4x100m relay. The Jersey team of Hansford, Atherley, Erin Goodbody and Alana Woodhall finished just five-tenths of a second behind the Faroes with Guernsey out in front.