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Team Guernsey suffers injury blow before Commonwealth Games begin

Team Guernsey suffers injury blow before Commonwealth Games begin

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Team Guernsey suffers injury blow before Commonwealth Games begin


One of Guernsey's athletes has fractured his collarbone during training in Australia ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

It means Sam Wallbridge won't be able to compete in the 400m hurdles - and also means his athletics coach; Tom Druce, has had to withdraw as well because Guernsey's team won't now be competing in the 4x400m relay.

The Guernsey Commonwealth Games Association jointly with the Guernsey Athletics Club announced the development this morning, with both organisation's saying they are "saddened" by the news.

The incident affecting Mr Wallbridge happened yesterday, 19 March, during a training session at Queensland Athletics Centre near Brisbane. Mr Wallbridge fractured his  collarbone after colliding with a hurdle. He was already in Australia as he had travelled ahead of the main team in order to "acclimatise and tune up" ahead of the Games starting.

The injury will keep him in Australia though as he will need an operation which has been scheduled for 4 April. 

Above: The official statement regarding Mr Wallbridge and Mr Druce

The injury is a double blow for the Sarnian side, because it means as well as Mr Wallbridge having to withdraw from the individual hurdles, Team Guernsey won't be able to enter the 4x400m relay. Guernsey Athletic Club's Development Officer, Tom Druce, was due to run the relay at the Gold Coast Games in four weeks’ time and he was due to fly out from the UK to Australia yesterday, just hours after the incident occurred. However, after consulting with Chef De Mission Garry Collins, the club’s Board of Directors, senior athletes and coaches, it was decided he would return to Guernsey instead. 

As Mr Druce was going to act as mentor for the track team, it has been decided that the remaining four athletes will instead be supported by team officials including athletics manager Dave Legg. 

The Guernsey Athletics Club and the GCGA have jointly said they "wish Sam all the best for his recovery."

Commenting further, Mr Collins, said: “It’s a real shame for Sam, and Tom. We wish Sam a speedy recovery, but unfortunately the closing date for entries has passed and therefore Guernsey is unable to replace these athletes at all.”

Team Guernsey Commonwealth Games 2018

Pictured: Members of Team Guernsey at the official send off at the Royal Court 

Mr Collins is due to travel to Australia tomorrow along with other representatives who had gathered at Guernsey's Royal Court for the official send off event on the evening on Monday 19 March. You can read coverage of that event here.

Former silver medalist shooter Matthew Guille was named Flag Bearer for the Opening Ceremony on 4 April and the Bailiff wished the team well for their travels and competitions. 

Pictured top l-r: Tom Druce and Sam Wallbridge

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