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RUTH SPOOKED BY SIGHT OF HER OWN BLOOD 1990

1990 Isle of Man team
Team time: (back row, left to right): David Teece, Shane Stigant, David Picken, Stewart Watterson and Steve Partington
Second row (l t r) David Glover, Graham Stigant, Paul Martin and Steve Porter
Third row (l to r) David Clague, Nigel Kelly, Chris Turner, Peter Kelly, Harry Creevy and Andy Nicholson
Fourth row (l to right) Tom Gray (attaché), Ruth Vondy, Brenda Walker, Marie Purvis, Suzanne Brown and Mark Harrison
Front row(l to r) Bill Ward, Paul Howarth, Dennis Lace, Dursley Stott, Ron Killey, George Costain, John Mead and Andrew Roche

Athletics: Brenda Walker (3000 and 10000m), David Teece (200m and 400m), Steve Partington (30km walk)
Swmming: Suzanne Brown (100 and 200m breaststroke, 50m freestyle, 100m individual medley), David Glover (100 and 200m breaststroke, 50m freestyle , 4 x 200m freestyle relay, 4 x 100m freestyle relay, 4 x 100 medley relay), David Picken (50, 100, 200m freestyle, 100 and 200m butterfly, 4 x 200m freestyle relay, 4 x 100m freestyle relay, 4 x 100 medley relay), Graham Stigant (100 and 200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 4 x 200m freestyle relay, 4 x 100m free style relay, 4 x 100 medley relay), Shane Stigant (100 and 200m breaststroke, 200m individual medley, 4 x 200m freestyle relay, 4 x 100m free style relay, 4 x 100 medley relay)
Shooting: David Clague (Skeet individual and pairs), Nigel Kelly (Skeet individual and pairs), Chris Turner (Olympic Trap individual and pairs), Peter Kelly (Olympic Trap individual and pairs), Harry Creevy (small-bore individual and pairs, three position individual and pairs, 10m air rifle individual and pairs), Stewart Watterson (small-bore individual and pairs, three position individual and pairs, 10m air rifle individual and pairs)
Cycling: Steve Porter (road race, 100km team time trial, 50km points and 20km scratch), Mark Harrison (road race and 100km team time trial) Andy Nicholson (road race and 100km team time trial), Andrew Roche (road race and 100km team time trial), Marie Purvis (road race)
Badminton: Paul Martin (singles)
Judo: Ruth Vondy (over 72kg and Open)
Team officials: general team manager, Ron Killey; assistant team manager/HQ official and athletics, Dennis Lace; badminton, John Mead; cycling, Bill Ward; judo, Paul Howarth; swimming, Steve Cooil; shooting, George Costain
21 athletes, 7 officials (28), flag: Graham Stigant; commandant, Dursley Stott
55 countries 2073 competitors

1990 Isle of Man Flag
Flagman: Graham Stigant, making what was to be his fourth and final competitive appearance at the Commonwealth Games, was entrusted with the Three Legs at the opening ceremony
Auckland 1990

Several of the 21-strong team, the smallest number since 1974, were employing professional coaches by the time New Zealand came round again.

Their use became an issue that led to problems later in the Isle of Man Games' history, and team managers had to deal with the consequences of some of their charges having that sort of relationship and others not.

In Auckland David Teece (RIP) had the benefit of the England coach John Smith at his side, and the talented sprinter regularly trained with the English track contingent.

Sadly, middle distance exponent Brenda Walker’s relationship with her coach of four years, Hamish Telfer, descended into acrimony and the Colby housewife and he parted ways, leaving general team manager Ron Killey and athletics official Dennis Lace to try and retrieve the situation.

Badly affected by the bust-up, Walker, the first Manx woman to run in an athletics final and in front of the TV cameras, ran competently for 13th out of 17 starters in the 3000m race, clocking a respectable 9.36.90 – just under one minute behind winner Angela Chambers (Canada).

Carrying a slight injury and not being in the best of spirits, she decided not to go in the 10000m.

David Teece made the second round of the 400m, recording 48.99 in round one and going slightly better next time out with 49.43. In the 200m, he again qualified for the second round with 21.95 and again went faster next time out with 21.90. Both times still stand as a Games best for a Manx athlete.

A determined Steve Partington, who had represented Great Britain at the World Championships in 1989 and had competed in the same colours at international events, scorched to 2.20.11 in the 30km walk, the fastest time ever at that time by a Manx competitor.

He went shoulder to shoulder with Australia’s Simon Baker, the 1989 Lugano Cup World Champion, and his team-mate Paul Copeland (who crossed the line equal 7th), the Aussies only drawing ahead of Steve in the final kilometre. At the line, Steve was just 16 seconds back.

Paul Martin, 24, the team’s sole badminton representative, had the misfortune to draw Scotland number one Kenny Middlemiss in the first round of the men’s singles and was comprehensively beaten.

Regaby’s Ruth Vondy, 29, ranked number two in Britain between 1986 and 1990, hates the sight of blood - especially her own! So when she slashed open her thumb just prior to her opening judo fight in the over 72kg category, there were a few anxious moments after she fainted. With the announcer calling her to the mat for the final time, Ruth recovered and won the bout.

She was then matched against world silver medal winner Sharon Lee (England) in a bout shown live on TV. Sadly she lost and the next match as well, and with only four entries, a bronze medal was not awarded.

A civil servant and winner of a silver medal when judo was the demonstration sport in Scotland four years earlier, Ruth also had three bouts in the Open class. She again won her opening bout but then lost the other two, Lee adding another gold to her name.

1990 Steve Porter
Power point: Steve Porter trains behind a motorbike at the velodrome

The cycling squad took themselves off to the Tour of Tasmania prior to the Games in a bid to maintain their race fitness from the UK summer season and to continue their build up to Auckland.

Alas, the four-man 100km team time trial effort faltered badly early on when Mark Harrison, to his and everyone else’s dismay, couldn’t maintain the pace and was dropped. Andy Nicholson’s crash at a turning point further upset the rhythm and the team finished 17 minutes behind winners New Zealand.

Steve Porter provided hope of a performance on the track, and after a spirited attempt at the 20km scratch race proved fruitless, he came very good in the 50km points race where he finished a fighting fifth.

Marie Purvis, just two years into what would prove to be an outstanding career both in the UK and abroad, became the first Manx woman cyclist to compete in the Games, and although unable to hold the pace in the women’s road race, managed to confirm her inclusion in the GB squad for later in the year was fully justified.

Porter and Nicholson both did well in the men’s road race, coming home 9th and 10th in the bunch just over two minutes behind the dominant New Zealanders.

The pressure and weight of expectancy can be extremely tough to handle even for an experienced athlete, so what if you are 16-year-old swimming prodigy Suzanne Brown?

She was finding it difficult to cope prior to departure and the transition from the English championship level to what amounts to a world stage caused her and her helpers a great deal of anguish.

However, she did compete in all her scheduled events and most effectively fulfilled the role of chaperone when one of her female team-mates became distressed by a performance.

David Glover, David Picken and Graham and Shane Stigant netted personal bests and Manx records in the pool, swim manager Steve Cooil praising their attitude, commitment, preparation, training and behaviour.

Their ‘togetherness’, in more ways than one, had special significance when they competed in the men’s relays, a first for the Island.

On the shooting front Nigel Kelly, the first Manx competitor to defend a title, started where he left off in Edinburgh and provided the much needed pre-Games boost when he won gold in a Skeet training competition notching 96, tied with two others, before finishing the job with a full house 25 in the shoot-off.

He again scored well with team-mate David Clague in the Skeet pairs competition with a 91. After a bad first day in the individual, he again showed a flash of brilliance during the second 100 targets where he dropped just three ‘kills’ and ended up sixth overall, two points off the bronze medal and five off retaining his title.

Chris Turner also showed good form in training competitions but neither he nor team-mate Peter Kelly featured in the actual Olympic Trap pairs and individual competitions.

Soul mates Stewart Watterson and Harry Creevy gave themselves a heavy workload by competing in the 50m small-bore, 50m three position small-bore and 10m air rifle disciplines, team manager George ‘Sparrow’ Costain remarking that ‘the concentration required over the whole period was taken in good sportsmanship by them and they never complained about the heavy burden they had to endure . . .’

1990 Brenda Walker
On your marks: Brenda Walker (centre) about to become the first Manx woman to run in a track race, the 5000m. Victory went to Angela Chambers of Canada

Ron elected Games vice-president

■ General team manager Ron Killey, secretary of the Commonwealth Games Association of the Isle of Man, was elected a vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation at a meeting of the CGA.

■ There are six vice-presidents representing geographical areas of the Commonwealth. They are appointed every four years and in Europe the appointment is agreed between the IoM, Channel Islands, Malta, Gibraltar and Cyprus on a rotational basis. It was the turn of the six ‘islands’ to be granted the honour on this occasion and in a ballot between Ron and a delegate from Malta, Ron topped the poll.

■ Two young Auckland girls became firm friends with the team and 15-year-old Cassandra O’Connor marched ahead of the team at the opening ceremony wearing a Manx tartan outfit supplied by Laxey Woollen Mills. Cassandra and her friend Nikki Bryce were a great help manning the office especially when HQ official Dennis Lace had to deal with athletic matters.

■ Homeward bound travel arrangements went awry in Los Angeles. The team were astounded when, after transferring from Air New Zealand flight to British Airways flight, a tax of 10 dollars a head was demanded before departure. Shooter Stewart Watterson came to the rescue, produced his Diner’s Card, and paid the bill.

■ Racing outside the British summer produces its problems so the cycling team took themselves off to Tasmania in December 1989 to compete in a stage race and other events. They were assisted by Australian mechanic Bob Farley, who had been befriended by several of the team in Edinburgh four years earlier, where he had worked with his country’s track riders. Bob gave up his holidays and travelled to Auckland to act as spannerman.

■ Paul Martin was the only badminton competitor for the Island and showed up well in pre-Games training matches. Playing conditions in the hall were tough with temperatures of more than 100F, and in the first week he lost over a stone in weight.

■ The team’s attaché was Tom Gray, son of Orry, who did the same job in 1974.

Results

ATHLETICS

Women’s 3000m, gold: Angela Chalmers (Canada) 8.38.38
Brenda Walker - 9.36.90 (13/17)
Men's 400m, gold: Darren Clarke (Australia) 44.60
David Teece - 48.99, qualified for second round, 49.43 (8/8), 31/39 on fastest times
200m, gold: Marcus Adam (England) 20.10
David Teece - 21.95 in heat, qualified for second round, 21.90 (8/8), 30/48 on fastest times
30km walk, gold: Guillaume Leblanc (Canada) 2.08.28
Steve Partington - 2.20.11 (9/13)

BADMINTON

Men’s singles, gold: Rashid Sadek (Malaysia)
Paul Martin - lost to Kenny Middlemiss (Scotland) first round

1990 Dennis Lace
Dennis at the double: In addition to looking after Steve Partington, Brenda Walker and the late David Teece, Dennis Lace (third from left) took on HQ duties

CYCLING

Men's Road race (112 miles), gold: Graeme Miller (New Zealand)
Steve Porter - 9/50 at 2-15
Andy Nicholson - 10/50 at 2.15
Andrew Roche - 23/50 at 14.00
Mark Harrison – DNF
100km team time trial, gold: New Zealand (Brian Fowler, Gavin Stevens, Graeme Miller and Ian Richards) 2.06.46
IoM - Andrew Nicholson, Mark Harrison and Andrew Roche and Steve Porter – 2.24.34 at 17.48 (9/10)
10-mile scratch race, gold: Gary Anderson (New Zealand)
Steve Porter – finished but not placed
50km points race, gold: Robert Burns (Australia) 81pts
Steve Porter – 5/17, 25pts
Women’s road race(62 miles), gold: Kathy Watt (Australia)
Marie Purvis – 14/21 at 6.30

1990 Ruth Vondy

Full on: Ruth Vondy battled courageously in the judo competition

JUDO

Women’s over 72kg, gold: Jane Morris (England)
Ruth Vondy lost 2-1 first round
Open, gold: Sharon Lee (England)
Ruth Vondy lost 2-1 first round

SWIMMING

Women's 100m breaststroke, gold: Keltie Duggan (Canada) 70.74
Suzanne Brown - disqualified
200m breaststroke, gold: Nathalie Giguere (Canada) 2.32.16
Suzanne Brown - 2.50.41 (15/15)
50m freestyle, gold: Lisa Curry-Kenny (Australia) 25.80
Suzanne Brown - 29.40 (23/26)
200m individual medley, gold: Nancy Sweetnam (Canada) 2.15.61
Suzanne Brown - 2.42.67 (17/17)
Men's 50m freestyle, gold: Andrew Baildon (Australia) 22.76
David Picken - 24.83 (21/36)
Shane Stigant - 26.73 (33/36)
David Glover - 27.00 (34/36)
100m freestyle, gold: Andrew Baildon (Australia) 49.80
David Picken - 53.89 (18/35)
200m freestyle, gold: Martin Roberts (Australia) 1.49.58
David Picken - 2.03.42 (22/29)
100m butterfly, gold: Andrew Baildon (Australia) 53.98
David Picken - 59.46 (18/27)
200m butterfly, gold: Anthony Mosse (New Zealand) 1.57.33
David Picken - 2.16.85 (15/16)
100m breaststroke, gold: Adrian Moorhouse (England) 61.49
Shane Stigant - 70.68 (19/26)
David Glover - 71.48 (21/26)
Graham Stigant – 73.26 (22/26)
200m breaststroke, gold: Jon Cleveland (Canada) 2.14.96
Shane Stigant - 2.33.65 (15/20)
Graham Stigant – 2.37.14 (18/20)
David Glover - 2.39.20 (20/20)
200m individual medley, gold: Gary Anderson (Canada) 2.02.94
Shane Stigant - 2.20.69 (21/23)
Graham Stigant – 2.22.21 (23/23)
200m freestyle relay, gold: Australia (Gary Lord, Ian Brown, Martin Roberts and Robert Stachewicz) 7.21.17
IoM - Graham Stigant, David Picken and Shane Stigant and David Glover – 8.34.39 (7/7)
100m freestyle relay, gold: Australia (Andrew Baildon, Chris Fydler, Ian Vander-Wal, Jason Cooper, Matthew Renshaw and Thomas Stachewicz) 3.20.05
IoM - Graham Stigant, David Picken and Shane Stigant and David Glover – 3.50.34 in heat, 8/8 in final 3.47.36
100m medley relay, gold: Canada (Jon Cleveland, Marcel Gery, Mark Tewkesbury and Tom Ponting) 3.42.45
IoM - Graham Stigant, David Picken and Shane Stigant and David Glover – 4.15.98 (7/8)

1990 Isle of Man cyclists
Honary Manxman: (left to right) Australian spannerman Bob Farley (who helped the cycling team for the second time), Andy Nicholson, Marie Purvis, Steve Porter, Mark Harrison and Andrew Roche

SHOOTING

Skeet individual, gold, Ken Harman (England) 187 ex 200
David Clague – 170 (15/27) 20, 20, 21, 17 -78; 22, 23, 24, 23 - 92
Nigel Kelly - 182 (6/27) 22, 21, 20, 22 – 85; 25, 24, 24, 24 – 97
Skeet pairs, gold: Scotland (Ian Marsden and James Dunlop) 189
IoM - David Clague and Nigel Kelly - 176 ex 200 (7/13) Clague 22, 21, 23, 19 – 85; Kelly 22, 23, 23, 23- 91
Olympic Trap individual, gold: John Maxwell (Australia) 184 ex 200
Chris Turner - 174 (11/31) 23, 23, 21, 21 - 88; 22, 18, 22, 24 – 86
Peter Kelly – 147 (27/31) 21, 21, 17, 21 - 80; 16, 15, 18, 18 - 67
Olympic Trap pairs, gold won with 181 ex 200
IoM – Chris Turner and Peter Kelly -163 (11/14), Turner – 22, 22, 20, 23 – 87; Kelly 20, 20, 21, 15 – 76
10m air rifle individual, gold: Guy Lorion (Canada) 583 ex 600
Stewart Watterson - 560 (14/21) 92, 92, 93, 94, 94, 95
Harry Creevy - 554 (16/21) 91, 93, 92, 91, 95, 92
10m air rifle pairs, gold: Canada (Guy Lorion and Mart Klepp) – 1163 ex 1200
IoM - Harry Creevy and Stewart Watterson -1118 (7/11), Creevy 94, 96, 93, 95, 93, 93 – 564; Watterson 93, 92, 91, 93, 93, 92 – 554
50m small-bore rifle 3 position individual, gold: Mark Klepp (Canada) 1157 ex 1200
Stewart Watterson - 1107 (14/19), prone: 97, 96, 93, 96 – 382; stand: 90, 90, 89, 96 – 359; kneel 90, 90, 93, 93 – 366
Harry Creevy -1070 (18/19) prone: 98, 100, 94, 98 – 390; stand: 88, 87, 83, 87– 345; kneel: 89, 89, 81, 76 – 335
50m small-bore rifle 3 position pairs, gold, Canada (Jean-Francois Senechal and Mart Klepp) 2272 ex 2400
IoM - Harry Creevy and Stewart Watterson - 2178 (9/9), Creevy – prone: 98, 97, 96, 95 – 386; stand: 87, 86, 90, 92 – 355; kneel: 85, 82, 86, 84 – 337 agg 1078; Watterson prone 97, 96, 97, 97 – 387; stand 88, 87, 93, 82 – 350; kneel 87, 92, 93, 91 – 363 agg 1100
50m small-bore rifle prone individual, gold: Roger Harvey (New Zealand) 591 ex 600
Stewart Watterson – 585 (10/29) 97, 97, 98, 100, 99, 94
Harry Creevy – 581 (15/29) 96, 97, 96, 97, 98, 97
50m small-bore rifle prone pairs, gold: New Zealand (Stephen Petterson and Roger Harvey) 1185 ex 1200
IoM – Harry Creevy and Stewart Watterson - 1164 (11/14) Creevy 97, 96, 99, 97, 96, 97 – 582; Watterson 93, 97, 98, 99, 96, 99 – 582