A TEAM of 73 athletes from Gibraltar will take part in nine different sports at the Island Games in Guernsey starting Saturday.

The Rock’s Minister for Sport Steven Linares wished the departing team ‘all the best’ at Natwest International Island Games to be held on July 8-14 on the British Channel Island.

It is the first time the sporting event will be held in four years after the pandemic postponed Guernsey’s attempt to hold it in 2021.

A total of 3,000 athletes and officials from 24 territories will take part in the week-long sporting event.

Gibraltar’s team will be eager to better their medal tally of eight gold medals, 12 silvers and nine bronzes when it was the host nation the last time the games were held in 2019.

Its athletes will compete in athletics, badminton, cycling, shooting (pistol and clay), sailing, swimming, table tennis, tennis and the triathlon.

Gibraltar excelled in shooting, tennis and athletics at the 2019 event, and these could bring the best chance for success this time around.

Apart from the 73 athletes, sports officials, physios, media and delegates will be accompanying the local team.

Minister Linares will take part in the opening ceremony at the seafront of St Peter Port on July 8.

He said it was ‘a great honour’ to support the team as the return of the Island Games ‘marks an important point’ after the pandemic.

“The Games are a fantastic platform for many young athletes and their importance cannot be underestimated. “Our athletes will, as always, represent us with pride.

“I can only hope that their hard work and perseverance is rewarded, and they attain the targets they have set for themselves.”

Jersey and Isle of Man will again be hot favourites to take the lion’s share of the medals at the event.

But Guernsey, that will be enjoying home advantage could improve on their fourth place showing at the last island games in Gibraltar.

Once again, competitors will take part in 14 sports spread around the island in the towns of St Peter Port, St Martins, St Sampsons, Vale and St Peters.

Gibraltar is the only peninsular to be competing against 23 different island chains from Europe, the Caribbean and elsewhere.


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