No 100m gold, but Cayman’s medal tally rises

Joe Chadwick of Guernsey celebrates as he wins the 100-metre dash ahead of the Cayman Islands’ Jeavhon Jackson. - Photo: Ben Meade

Ben Meade

Cayman failed to produce the fastest man at the Island Games for the first time since 2013 in Bermuda. Jeavhon Jackson was in contention through the first 60 metres but fell behind Joe Chadwick of Guernsey, who took the 100-metre gold in 10.82 seconds.

Jackson finished in 10.94 to win silver. It made up for a disappointing run in the 400m hurdles earlier in the week after injuring his heel, which did not appear to bother him for the sprint.

“The 400-metre hurdles is my favourite and I wanted to medal in that, but I like sprinting, so it doesn’t matter [which event I medal in],” he said. Jackson is expected back in action Friday when he is set to team up with Michael Smikle, Carl Morgan and Karim Murray for the 4x100m relay.

Another silver on the track came courtesy of Sherlock Brooks in the 400m men’s competition. He crossed the line in 49.39 seconds behind hometown favourite Jessy Franco, who took the gold in 48.34 seconds.

On the sands of the Nuffield Pool Outdoor Arena, mere feet from the Bay of Gibraltar coast, the beach volleyball duo of Jessica Wolfenden and Stefania Gandolfi redeemed themselves after losing in the semi-finals to Menorcan opposition earlier on Thursday.

They quickly put that defeat behind them to claim victory in the bronze medal match. The Cayman duo took it in straight sets 25-23, 21-16.

This was Wolfenden and Gandolfi’s second Island Games medal, after claiming gold in Jersey four years ago. With Wolfenden absent in Gotland in 2017, Gandolfi partnered with Heather Thompson to finish one spot off the podium.

Meanwhile, Illean Powery and Marissa Harrison finished seventh of the 17 pairs, down from their fifth place at the last games.

In basketball, Cayman’s men were within a win Thursday of defending their title, having convincingly beat Guernsey 103-66. They face a solid Estonian team from the island of Saaremaa, who beat 2017 silver medallists Gibraltar 64-60. It means there will be no rematch of the previous final, a match-up that had many fans salivating at the prospect of it becoming reality. Instead, the hosts will play Guernsey in the bronze medal match.

Cayman’s women’s basketball programme is in rebuilding mode and finished in fifth place after beating Guernsey 59-50. Captain and starting point guard Hannah Parchment put their performance into perspective.

“I think with the team we had … we did pretty well despite our loss to Gibraltar in our first game. I feel if we had won that game, we would have had a chance at medalling, but besides that, I’m extremely happy,” she said.

“Two years ago, in the medal round, we lost to Guernsey, so this is was our revenge match. We refused to lose to them and our heart really showed it,” Parchment added.

Despite the win on the court, celebrations were slightly less exuberant, as core player Courtisha Ebanks went down with a leg injury after a collision with an opposing player as they went for a loose ball.

With other medals coming in swimming as well (to be detailed in a story in Monday’s Compass), Cayman has moved past the 20-medal mark with eight gold, six silver and eight bronze.

With one day of competition remaining, Cayman’s medal haul is set to increase, with men’s basketball and the squash team guaranteed at least silver as they play in finals, while athletics is poised to bring home some more in the relays and men’s triple jump.

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