Guernsey Athletics is pleased to announce its team for the 2019 Island Games in Gibraltar. The 32-strong team includes stars of previous editions Sarah Mercier and Louise Perrio on the women’s side, with Island Games veteran Dale Garland and the young-but-decorated Sam Wallbridge heading up the men.
Mercier is arguably the strongest medal prospect having been in outstanding form of late – she attempts the 5,000/10,000m double for the first time. She is joined in the latter by Jenny James who has progressed markedly since the Gotland Games two years ago.
Wallbridge claimed silver last time out over 400m hurdles and will be aiming to bring home another medal this time around, whilst the Millfield Scholar Joe Chadwick looks to have a strong chance of doing so over the 200m having debuted in the Island Games in the high jump two years ago.
The two remaining reigning medallists in the squad are Ed Mason and Indi Gallagher, who both will be aiming to return to their best in the Island Games environment…they compete again in the steeplechase and 400m respectively.
The tightest selection decision came in the men’s 800m, where the selectors took the decision to allow Richard Bartram and Alex Rowe to compete for the second spot this coming Saturday at the Hampshire County Championships, with whoever places higher taking the Island Games berth. Both men are already named in the 1500m.
Team manager Tom Druce was quick to note the exciting youngsters in the team as Guernsey Athletics continue to try to blood their up and coming athletes at the right time. “We have shown faith in some of the younger athletes who just missed out on their qualifying marks – with Guernsey 2021 around the corner it only seems right to try to expose athletes to this level of competition to aid their preparation for that.
“Tom Brierley in the discus is a great example of someone who has put a lot of work and effort in of late to try and make the Island Games team – the selectors noted the unfortunate situation with regards to the lack of javelin or hammer in the Games this time and the importance of putting the throws ‘out there’ as an event group. It is important for the development of that area of the sport and again to prepare and encourage ahead of 2021. Tom is one of a few developing athletes who the selectors and management are delighted to offer this opportunity to.
“We have a few likely medal winners who unfortunately are not going to be with us this year for various reasons, but it is now time to focus on those who will be. There are at least one or two who I think will go under the radar for now and then produce something significant in July.”
The full team can be downloaded below. More reaction on the way in the coming days.