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Western Isles Island Games Association
Comann Geamannan Eileanach nan Eilean Siar
 

    Rhodes 2007    

Eilidh's 800m Gold Medal

Eilidh on the Podium

“Come on Eilidh! Come on Eilidh! Come on Eilidh! YEEESSSSS!”

The TV cameraman turned round to see who was overloading his sound system – Stornoway Running and Athletic Club coaches Adrienne and Gavin were screaming encouragement at Eilidh just a foot from his microphone - he didn't look too happy but they certainly were! The Western Isles squad were equally loud as they cheered from the stand and Eilidh responded magnificently – what a fabulous race and what a fabulous win!

Eilidh Mackenzie had put in the performance of her life to win the 800m gold medal at the International Island Games in Rhodes – the first ever Gold Medal for the Western Isles at the International Island Games. It wasn’t just the win but the way she won that earned her the respect of all who saw the race. Eilidh ran the perfect race, beating the winner from the previous games, setting a new Island Games record time  and knocking an astonishing 9 seconds off her PB. Simply stunning!

Eilidh preparing for the start

Eilidh preparing for the start

Eilidh preparing for the start

Eilidh Racing

Claire Wilson of Shetland had already beaten Eilidh in the 1500m final and set off to do the same in the 800m. She went out quickly from the start and had built up a lead of over 10m by the 200m mark. Eilidh was in about 5th place but realised that she could not let the gap get any bigger, pulled out and ran round the pack to close to within 5m of Claire by the 250m mark.

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Claire powered on round, doing her best to win from the front but Eilidh stayed calm and held the gap at  about 3m. With 200m to go, Eilidh made her move, she kicked hard and closed in on Claire all the way round the final bend. With 100m to go, Eilidh moved alongside then sprinted for the line. Claire's despairing look across at 50m to go says it all – she had no more to give! Eilidh screamed with delight and punched the air as she crossed the finishing line in a new International Island Games record time of 2m 11.91s.

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh racing

Eilidh takes the win!

Eilidh and Claire

Eilidh after the race

Eilidh after the race

Eilidh being congratulated

Eilidh being congratulated by cyclist Paul Smith

The medal ceremony was a highly emotional affair, the sound of the pipes echoed round the stadium as the Western Isles anthem “The Bays of Harris” was played and the Western Isles flag raised. Tears flowed as Eilidh stood on the podium wrapped in the team flag, tears of joy turned to tears of laughter as verse after verse of the anthem was played – someone should have told the organisers that they did not have to play all 20 verses and choruses!

Eilidh on the Podium

Eilidh on the Podium

Eilidh on the Podium

Eilidh on the Podium

Fly the flag

Eilidh on the Podium

Aland 2009


 
WIIGA Logo WIIGA Flag

Western Isles Island Games Association
Comann Geamannan Eileanach nan Eilean Siar