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Sport / John Magnus and Seumas to lead Island Games ceremony

Seumas Mackay (left) will pour water from Shetland into a fountain at the opening ceremony of the Island Games, while clay shooter John Magnus Laurenson will carry the flag and lead the Shetland Team. Photo: SIGA

THE NAMES of Team Shetland’s flag bearer and water carrier for next months’s Island Games have been announced.

Clay shooter John Magnus Laurenson, who hails from Burra, will carry the Shetland flag and lead the team into the opening ceremony at Europa Point in Gibraltar on Saturday 6 July.

It will be John Magnus’ fourteenth time at the Island Games, having taken part in every event but one since he first competed in Åland in 1991.

He has won six bronze and three silver medals in clay shooting over that time, and he bagged a gold medal in the Olympic skeet event at the last games in the Swedish island of Gotland in 2017. John Magnus has also represented Scotland three times.

Track athlete Seumas Mackay, meanwhile, will be the water carrier for Shetland at the opening ceremony.

This involves the water ceremony, where a representative of each team pours water from their island into a fountain that will run throughout the week.

This will be Seumas’ second Island Games, having won gold in the 800 metre event in Gotland in 2017.

Seumas, from Dunrossness, is currently a member of the Scottish Athletics National Academy and he has represented Scotland at full international athletics events.

He also holds the current senior men’s Shetland records for 400m, 800m and 1500m and was joint overall captain of this year’s successful junior inter-county team.

Lesley Hutchison, vice chair of Shetland Island Games Association, said the pair are “both fantastic ambassadors for Shetland who have excelled in their chosen sports at the games and beyond.”

Team Shetland will feature 86 competitors and officials taking part in nine sports – athletics, badminton, cycling, sailing, shooting, squash, swimming, table tennis and triathlon.

Football is not on the agenda this year as Gibraltar does not have enough suitable pitches, but that has not stopped the Shetland team.

A replacement Ynys Mon Inter Games Football Tournament, which is not formally part of the Island Games, kicked off at the weekend in Anglesey.

Shetland faced up against Saint Helena on Sunday in the first of two group games and they comfortably won 6-1.

Goals rained in from Calvin Leask (two), Richard Arthur (two), Joel Bradley and Robert Smith.

There is little time to rest, however, as the blues are back in action today (Monday) at 3.30pm against Guernsey.