Day three at 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast was all about swimming. The highlight of the day was undoubtedly Jordan Gonzalez’s swim in the heats of the 50m backstroke where he broke the National Record recording a time 28:19 and claimed a spot in the semifinal in the evening session.
Swimming in semifinal one he came home in 7th position in a slightly slower time than the morning heat clocking 28:29.
The other swimmers acquitted themselves well: Jim Sanderson swam 54:57 in the 100m freestyle, Matt Savitz registered 2:15:41 in the 200m fly and Christina Linares swam 31:92 in the 50m fly.
Team Gibraltar are in action once again the pool, this morning Christina Linares swims in the 100m freestyle and Jim Sanderson and Matt Savitz are in the 100m butterfly, then in the evening session Gibraltar take to the start line for the final of the 4x200m Freestyle relay. The route to the final was via direct allocation as the level of entries was low but nevertheless history for Gibraltar in a relay event.
And this afternoon the Athletics gets underway, Jessy Franco (making his games debut) goes in not one but two events. First up he’s in heat 8 of the 100m alongside no other than Yohan Blake of Jamaica and shortly after he and fellow athlete Jerai Torres run in the heats of the 400m.
Day four finished in spectacular fashion here on The Gold Coast with Gibraltar in the final of 4x200m Freestyle. The Swim Squad lined up on the starting blocks with just four other teams England, Australia, Scotland and Canada. Although finishing last in 5th place the quartet of Matt Savitz, Jim Sanderson, Jordan Gonzalez and Aidan Carroll swam their hearts out the young replacement to the team Aidan brought the team home in 8:15:75.
Earlier in the day at the Optus pool Christina Linares broke yet another record when she clocked 1:01:29 finishing 4th in the 2nd heat of the 100m freestyle. Jim Sanderson and Matt Savitz swam the 100m butterfly with Matt coming home in 59:56 and Jim in 1:02:14.
Yesterday was the first on the Carrara track, young Jessy Franco making his debut went in two events almost back to back. Up first in the 100m where he ran in heat 8 where he finished in 11:04 , the heat was won by Jamaican Yohan Blake. He then ran in the 400m where he gained a personal best of 48:40. Jerai Torres also ran in the 400, the first of his two events clocking 49:40.
Today (Monday) day five sees the first shooting action with young air riflers Mairead Sheriff and Kristina Hewitt make their games debut in the qualification round of 10m Air Rifle event, and first up at the Belmont Range near Brisbane pistol pair Jonathan Patron ( shooting in his 4th games) and Daniel Payas (first games as a competitor) shot in the 10m Air Pistol.
And back in Gold Coast Jim Sanderson swims in the 3rd heat of the 50m freestyle.
Day 5 for Team Gibraltar on the sporting front concluded at lunchtime. First up bright and breezy were Pistol pair of Jonathan Patron (4 games) and Daniel Payas (Debut) in the 10m Air Pistol. Jonathan despite an eye injury finished in 17thplace on 542x3 while Daniel shot consistently to record 554x8 and in 14th.
Speaking after the event Daniel said “ I’m very pleased with my performance and finishing 14thin my first Games. Although nerves got the better of me at time I managed to stay consistent. I’m looking forward to my next event.”
Gibraltar’s two youngest members Mairead Sheriff and Kristina Hewitt were next up on the indoor range at the Belmont Shooting Complex (Brisbane) in the Air Rifle event. In their first Games they both shot 397 with Mairead finishing on 397.9 in 17thspot and Kristina on 397.8 in 18thslot. Valuable experience for the pair which will help as their shooting careers progress.
Gibraltar Commonwealth Games Association Secretary General, Joe Schembri, presented the medals for the ladies air rifle event after a tense final which ended in a dead heat between the Indian and Singapore shooters and required a shoot off that was won by the 18 year old shooter from Singapore.
Sandwiched between the shooting across at the Optus pool Jim Sanderson recorded another National record in the 50m Freestyle race when he powered home in 24:72, the first local swimmer to go under 25. Speaking after the race about the past couple of days Jim said: “Last night was the most experience hearing your country being called out and having 10,000 people cheering for you. It was great having some of Team Gibraltar there to witness it.
“For me personally it was the best experience and moment I have had in my life so far and hard to beat.”
He added: “It was nice to break the national in such an incredible atmosphere.”
Gibraltar Commonwealth Games Association President, Harry Murphy, will be presenting the medals for the para breaststroke swimming event at the pool this evening after the culmination of the swimming finals.
Tuesday sees one of Team Gibraltar’s busiest with four sports on offer. An early start at the shooting range with Wayne Piri in action in Men’s 50m Prone at 9 o’clock. At 10 the cyclists go in the Time Trial along Currumbin Beach Front, at 11:40 there’s the last action in the pool as the male quartet swim the 4x100m relay and just after one Jerai Torres takes on the 200m heats.