Scaling Olympian heights

AS THE Olympics moves into its second week,  and following Team GB’s historic ‘Super Saturday’ gold rush this weekend, it’s hard for the Bailiwick not to feel extremely proud of our own athletes who are involved in London 2012.

AS THE Olympics moves into its second week,  and following Team GB’s historic ‘Super Saturday’ gold rush this weekend, it’s hard for the Bailiwick not to feel extremely proud of our own athletes who are involved in London 2012.

It’s now almost a cliché to point out that, for such a small island, Guernsey persistently punches above its weight.

But nevertheless it is undoubtedly true. Let’s look at the facts.

In tennis, Heather Watson did us proud, beating the higher-ranked Spaniard Silvia Soler Espinosa and losing only to a competitor ranked 52 places above her at world number 15.

In the doubles, she and partner Laura Robson were always set to be up against it after landing a hard draw against two of the world’s top 17. The Germans were both Wimbledon quarter-finalists, with one making it through to the semis at SW19.

Sadly, Watson missed out on a possible medal chance after Andy Murray’s decision to pick Robson (whom he has teamed up with before) as his doubles partner – despite the Guernsey star being British number one and ranked higher in both singles and doubles than Robson. Murray and Robson won silver yesterday.

While her disappointment will be understandable, we know it will only drive our girl on to even greater things.

Also flying the flag for the Bailiwick is dressage rider Carl Hester, raised in Sark until 19, and who, as things stand, is fifth out of the 49-strong field and one of the leading GB team of three,

Meanwhile, his UK protégé has just broken an Olympic record and is leading individual.

While dressage may be a niche area, such world class ability cannot be overstated.

All this, and we also have local hero Lee Merrien’s marathon bid to look forward to on the final day of the Games on Sunday.

So a gold medal for achievement for Guernsey then. And surely we must be the envy of our Jersey neighbours, who have no representatives in the GB team.

Much has been made of this Games signifying the importance of legacy.

With elite Olympian role models such as these on our doorstep for our youngsters to look up to, surely Guernsey sport can only go from strength to strength.