Feb 05 - Ministers Send Congratulations to Special Olympics Gibraltar Team
The hockey team, playing for the Gibraltar Special Olympics group in the World Winter Games this week qualified for bronze in the second division, giving them an overall score of sixth for the whole competition. The closing ceremony took place this afternoon.
Ministers Linares and Sacramento today sent their congratulations to the team on behalf of achieving such huge success. The added how proud they were of the team.
The Special Olympics Gibraltar Team picked up a further medal at the World Winter Games last week. Sally Ann Mauro took Bronze in the 200 metres show shoeing event and the Unified Floor Hockey Team took Bronze in the Floor Hockey Finals. The team will return to Gibraltar on Thursday afternoon.
John Saunders reports: Nikita Vitiugov, from St Petersburg in Russia, won the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters title at the Caleta Hotel on Thursday after a pulsating play-off final against three times winner and reigning champion Nigel Short of England. Four players – the above two, plus Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France and Chanda Sandipan of India – tied for first place on 8/10 after ten rounds of the tournament, necessitating a knock-out play-off to decide the winner of the £20,000 first prize.
Short beat Vachier-Lagrave and Vitiugov beat Sandipan in the two-game rapidplay play-off semi-finals. The final match between Vitiugov and Short was a thriller. The Russian, who will turn 26 in four days’ time, showed amazing coolness under pressure as he played out most of a 104-move game with only seconds available for each move, before finding a clever tactical trick to finish the game. In the second game Vitugov kept his opponent at bay for a draw which clinched the match 1½-½.
Team Gibraltar has won their first divisioning match against USA then lost to Egypt in a hard fought match. On 31st January they played for classification against Italy winning 6-3 and against Greece winning 8-2.
Both of these matches tested the strength of this, the first attempt at Unified Floor Hockey. This is a fast game with knocks and bumps despite well padded hands, shins and ankles.
The team’s intensive training beforehand is paying off now.
John Saunders reports: England’s Nigel Short, three times winner of the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters, fought back from a second round defeat to share the lead with Nikita Vitiugov of Russia at the end of round eight at the Caleta Hotel. The two players have 7/8 and lead Gata Kamsky of USA, Yu Yangyi of China and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France by half a point with two rounds remaining.
“What is it about Nigel Short and Gibraltar?” asked tournament director Stuart Conquest on Twitter (@stuthefox). He is not the only chess expert to be amazed by the form Short always shows here, year after year. Nigel Short was ninth in the start of tournament rankings in the Masters but he always raises his game at this tournament and thrives on the atmosphere at the event. He is currently on a run of six wins in a row in pursuit of the £20,000 first prize.
The PDP is proud of the GFA’s futsal squad on its historic achievement at the UEFA Euro 2014 preliminaries for their 7-5 win against San Marino and for their best efforts against the other stronger teams of France and Montenegro. Congratulations and what a great way to set out on the road to full membership. It is unfortunate yet unsurprising that Spain has immediately announced again its intention to take whatever legal action necessary to block Gibraltar’s membership.
We therefore welcome greatly the extremely positive strides made by the Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) in becoming fully fledged UEFA members despite all the odds. The PDP offers its support in this endeavour and wishes the GFA the best of luck in the UEFA Congress where the GFA’s rightful place within the European football family will be decided on.
The PDP is also excited to know that both Gibraltar’s U19 and U17 squads will be competing against other European nations in their respective UEFA competitions. It is high time our developing players should be given this exposure to further their footballing dreams.
Hi everyone, an update for those of you who, for any number of reasons may not have been able to watch the Opening Ceremony. Well, it all went Gangham style!!!! honest.
There was one special moment during the parade of athletes when Gibraltar, led by a dancing Virginia caused the American commentator, Jason Lee to exclaim with a delighted laugh "Well look at her, she's ready to go!" That's our girl...
GO VIRGINA and all the team.
The ceremony was a delightful mix of beauty, grace, colour, dance and Korean music, embodying the theme "co-existence and harmony".