Four members of the Cayman Islands gymnastics team competed at the recent Island Games in Ynys Mon, Wales, and won four silver and four bronze medals.
Igor Magalhaes competed in the first event of the Games, the Junior Boys Set (compulsory) competition, on July 23. He competed in all six events in a field of 12 boys, ages 11-12, from Jersey, Bermuda, Isle of Man and Cayman.
Magalhaes set the tone for Cayman, winning an impressive three silver medals on floor, vault and high bar, as well as two bronze.
The Games were the first international competition where Cayman was represented in any men’s events, and Magalhaes demonstrated that there is a strong future for men’s gymnastics in Cayman.
His coach, Alison Gansebom, was extremely pleased with his results and attributed them to Magalhaes’s dedication and hard work.
Morgan Lloyd, Sami Peene and Raegan Rutty competed in the Senior Women’s Set competition and the team competition.
They competed with 40 girls from seven countries, including Isle of Man, Bermuda, Jersey, Gotland, Shetland and Ynys Mon.
In the team competition, teams are comprised of six gymnasts, with the top three scores of each event counting toward the team score. With only three gymnasts, all their scores counted for Cayman.
Cayman delivered a strong and consistent performance, earning them a fourth-place finish with 68.5 points, only 0.2 points behind Jersey, who earned the bronze medal. Isle of Man won the gold in the team event and Bermuda took silver.
In the individual set competition, Lloyd earned two bronze medals, tying with Isle of Man on floor and with Bermuda on bars. Peene finished fifth on beam and ninth on bars.
On July 25, the girls went on to compete in the Senior Women’s International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) (optional) competition.
Peene earned Cayman’s final medal of the Games, with a silver on bars. Peene also placed sixth on beam. Lloyd and Rutty also earned top 10 finishes, coming eighth and ninth on floor, and Rutty was 10th on bars. The girls placed ninth, 12th and 16th all-around in a very competitive field. Coach Kelley Paz was proud of the girls’ results as Cayman has consistently moved up in the rankings at these Games since they first took part in 2011, despite fielding a small team.
Lauren Hill and Katie Scott were the first gymnasts to compete for Cayman in Jersey in 2011. Bethany Dikau, Morgan and Jessica Lloyd, Haley Willkom and Hilary Cockhill were in the first team for Cayman, and Dikau was the first Caymanian to win a medal (silver on vault) for Cayman in Bermuda in 2013.
Gymnastics is an optional sv port at the NatWest Island Games and is included at the discretion of the host country.
Gymnastics was part of the Island Games in 2013 in Bermuda and will be included again in the 2017 Island Games in Gotland.
While gymnastics was not part of the Island Games in Jersey this year, Ynys Mon hosted the member countries at this separate event immediately following the official Games. The gymnasts will join Cayman’s athletes at the next Games in Gotland.