Special Olympics Gibraltar athlete Adam Stewart struck gold for the team on day one of the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi when, with unified partner Darren Grech, he came in first in the no wet suit category, 1 mile open water swim. In the event, held in Dubai, Adam clocked 29.13 minutes beating competitors from Brazil, Costa Rica, Uruguay and the Cayman Islands. Under the coaching of Mark Chichon, Adam and Darren had been in training since last August in the waters around the Rock. The victory marked the first medal for SO Gibraltar in these games and was a great start on the first day of competition.
Earlier in the day long distance runner Francis Mauro ran a personal best of 1 hour, 44 minutes and 29 seconds in the final of the half marathon event crashing his previous record by over 10 minutes. He was ranked in a higher division which led to him achieving a creditable 4th place. His training over the last 2 years really paid off and coach Kellianne Peliza said “Francis is a true inspiration for all with his hard work and dedication to the sport.”
Elsewhere the early stages and divisioning in other competitions continued and there was a notable performance by Dorian Zammit on the bocce court, winning his first game 12 – 0 against Palestine and in a close finish drawing his second game 7 – 7 against Argentina.
The games continue with a full schedule of events including bowling, equestrian, golf, bocce and athletics on Sunday.