Athletics send 32-strong squad to Gibraltar

7 May 2019

32 athletes will represent Guernsey in Gibraltar this summer with some experienced stars of previous Games including Sarah Mercier and Louise Perrio on the women’s side, with Island Games veteran Dale Garland and Sam Wallbridge heading up the men.

Guernsey Athletics say that Mercier is arguably the strongest medal prospect having been in outstanding form of late – she’s attempting the 5,000/10,000m double for the first time. Mercier is joined in the 10,000m by Jenny James who has progressed markedly since the Gotland Games two years ago.

Sam Wallbridge claimed silver over the 400m hurdles in Gotland and will be aiming to bring home another medal this time around, whilst Joe Chadwick looks to have a strong chance of doing so over the 200m having debuted in the Island Games in the high jump in 2017. Ed Mason and Indi Gallagher were also medalists in Gotland and they compete again in the steeplechase and 400m respectively.

Team manager Tom Druce also has a number of youngsters making their Island Games debuts in Gibraltar and says “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 in of late to try and make the 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.”

“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.”