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.
In the 100 metres snow shoeing event which took place today our two athletes Virginia Wink and Sally Ann Mauro competed.
Sally Ann came in a commendable 5th whilst Virginia took the Silver Medal.
Congratulations to both girls.
MASTERS ROUND 10 & PLAY-OFFS: 30 JANUARY 2013
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.