Merrien eyes ‘half’ gold after 10k silver

SEVERAL of Guernsey’s Island Games competitors made good starts to their campaigns in an eventful opening evening of track and field in Visby, culminating in Lee Merrien taking silver in an intense 10,000m final.

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Merrien, whose sub 30min. PB of 29-26 was set nine years ago, broke from the pack at around three kilometres, but remained neck-and-neck with Isle of Man’s Ollie Lockley until the closing stages.

But Lockley dropped Merrien with just 300m remaining to take the gold medal in a time of 30 minutes 37.46 seconds to Merrien’s 30-40.84.

Merrien had mixed feelings about his race, but was more optimistic about Friday’s half marathon.

‘I am disappointed with the outcome, but at the same time proud to have got to the start line after the injuries I have had, and to come away with a medal,’ he said.

‘It was how I expected, we both knew that it was like an unspoken kind of allegiance and he knew that my strength is probably endurance – given that he has more of a middle distance background.

‘My race experience is in the half marathon and longer, so I still fancy my chances [in the half], more so than in the 10k, and hopefully I’ll come away with a gold.’