Premier Craig Cannonier with Bermuda's gold medal relay team after the medal ceremony. *Photo by James Burton.
Premier Craig Cannonier with Bermuda's gold medal relay team after the medal ceremony. *Photo by James Burton.

Bermuda's 200m women's freestyle relay team won a glorious gold at the National Aquatics Centre on Monday night at the 2013 Island Games.

The fearsome foursome of Lisa Blackburn, Ashley Yearwood, Rebecca Heyliger and Maddie Moore produced a stunning performance to break the national record — they swam 1min 46.04 seconds — and hold off Jersey (1:47.78) and Guernsey (1:48.49) in front of a vociferous home crowd.

It capped a hugely-entertaining first night of swimming finals at the Games, which also saw Blackburn add two bronzes to Bermuda's medal tally in the women's 400m IM – in which Bermuda’s Stephanie Myles came eighth — and the women's 50m breaststroke.

However, the highlight arrived courtesy of the relay girls — a wonderful combination of youth (Moore is 13) and experience (Blackburn is 41).

The leader of the pack Blackburn told the Bermuda Sun: “The relay was awesome, the team was great and the girls really rose to the challenge. We had a lot of fun and to win at home is extra special with all the parents here. My mum is here from Canada for two weeks so it’s not often she gets to see me in competition, so that’s really nice too.”

Meanwhile, up-and-coming talent Jesse Washington swam an age group record in the men’s 50m backstroke (28.05) to come seventh in the final after qualifying fastest in the afternoon session.

Rebecca Heyliger finished sixth in the 100m fly (1:06.59), while Shannon Hassell came seventh in the women’s 200m freestyle (2:11.40) with a national age group record.

Vaughn Rowse was eighth in the gruelling men’s 1,500m, touching the wall at 18:23.07, while the men’s 4 x 50m medley team dug deep but missed out on the medals, finishing fifth in 1:48.72.

More reaction from Bermuda’s relay gold medalists to come on www.bermudasun.bm.