A team of 14 Manx athletes representing Special Olympics Isle of Man have just returned from the Gibraltar Special Olympics National Games.
Arriving to find their luggage was still at Gatwick wasn’t the best start to the sporting trip for the Manx contingent.
More than 30 runners from the Law Enforcement Torch Run carried the flame into the Victoria Stadium and brought the games’ opening ceremony to life.
Manx athletes took part in a busy three-day competition with hosts Gibraltar and two visiting Spanish teams.
The teams competed first in the athletics field events.
A heatwave even had the locals struggling but the Manx runners got on with their races in fine style.
In the first race of the day TomÃ¡s Dawe secured a bronze in his 100m and a fifth in his 200m.
Duncan Watterson was fifth in his 100m and bronze in his 200m.
Robert Keigwin, in his first games with the team, came in sixth in his 100m.
Mathew Callin picked up silver in his 100m followed by the team’s first gold in his 200m.
All four then ran in the finale of the 4x100m relay finishing third to take the bronze medal.
Next day there was football on the Astroturf pitches adjacent to the peninsula’s runway. There was a little distraction to say the least when the planes landed and took off only a few metres away.
The four teams all played each other, the Manx winning their first two games.
After a good two-hour break while the other teams played, the island’s next match against Gibraltar became a gold-medal decider.
Gibraltar were much stronger and won 4-1 to take gold and leave the Manx team of captain Tom Hall, keeper David Hudson, Mark Henry, Ben Mowle and first-timers Jamie Comaish and Liam McCarthy with silver.
The last day of action saw the swimming event at the GASA Pool.
With the temperature touching a whopping 39 degrees, the swimmers had the best of it being able to get in the water.
Emily Keigwin secured two golds in her 50 and 25-metre races. There were double golds also for Andrew McGeehan in his 50m freestyle and breaststroke, while Katie Dulson secured two silvers in her freestyle and breaststroke.
Angela Maiden, in her first games, secured silver in her 50m freestyle and gold in her breaststroke. In the 4x25m relay the team finished in silver position.
The footballers will be returning to Gibraltar again in November to take part in the Gareth Cowin Memorial competition hopefully with teams from Everton, Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester City, Pontefract, Iceland and the hosts.