Competing in what is often dubbed as the Mini Olympics, with plenty of new faces in the Ynys Mon squad for the 2019 NatWest International Island Games in Gibraltar these young sportspeople seem to be loving their experience out on the Rock.
Ynys Mon’s medal-winning athletes Patrick Harris and Ffion Roberts reflected on their week so far on the Mediterranean Coast and both beamed about the experiences they’ve had competing at such a high level.
Competing for the first time at Men’s level in the Games, 18-year-old Patrick Harris stormed to a bronze medal in the Shot Putt Final on Monday evening with a personal best score of 12.78m putting him behind perennial medal winners and seasoned athletes who took the top two positions in the event.
A huge moment for the youngster, he called the event his ‘best experience’ when looking back on the week he’s had in Gibraltar so far.
“I’ve been getting a lot of notifications on my phone at the moment.” Harris said. “I am quite tired to be honest, I used all of my energy so I’m glad it ended how it should have. I trained really hard to get to this point so I’m really, really pleased!
“I was really surprised to be the first Ynys Mon athlete to win a medal, because we’ve got such a strong team competing in a lot of sports over here and a lot of people have been close to getting medals already. I wasn’t expecting this at all but I’m very happy!
“It has been a brilliant week so far, the facilities are amazing, the people are fantastic, they’ve done all they can to support and help us – this has been the best experience I’ve had, for sure!”
Competing in her first International Island Games also, 19-year-old Ffion Roberts starred in the 400m Women’s event to take home a bronze medal in very tricky conditions up at Lathbury Sports Complex.
Again, hoping the experience of the Games would benefit her as an athlete and an individual, Roberts was delighted to walk away from her first event with a well-deserved medal and spoke about how much she is enjoying being in Gibraltar.
“I’m really, really happy – all of this is really exciting for me as it is my first games, and so my first medal as well. I think the race went well, although it was really windy so the conditions were tricky, but I’m really happy with the bronze!
“Coming into the Games I was just really looking forward to the experience, to be honest. It is such a big competition, contested abroad, I thought it would be great for me, but to win a medal is just big bonus.
“The atmosphere here is really good, it’s great to meet other people and share this experience with them. I’ve got the 200m today (Wednesday) and the 4x400m Relay on Friday, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.”