As the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi drew to a close there was a final rush of medals for Team Gibraltar on the last days of competition.
In the penultimate morning Daniella Vinent ran the race of her life to come in second in her division of the 400m, some 26 seconds faster than her predicted time, and so claimed the silver medal. This followed another popular run by Mark Dos Santos who came home in 6th place but united the crowd behind him. Later in the day Miguel Rubio also claimed a 6th place in his 100m sprint final, in what was a very tight race, knocking a couple of seconds off his best time.
Shane Martinez, who had only been released from hospital 24 hours previously after being taken ill during the trip, claimed gold in the men's doubles bowling event with partner Samyr Anakkar. They scored 911 in a difficult division of 8 teams, and beat Team GB into second place.
Meanwhile Gibraltar achieved its first success in the pool when Douglas Pitaluga won the 100m freestyle, beating his closest rival by 5 seconds and so claim Gibraltar's 6th gold medal, and late Tuesday evening in the equestrian dressage event Glenn Wimbleton came in first for Gibraltar to claim the 7th Gold Medal
As the end of the Games draws near Team Gibraltar finished the day with a total medal tally of 6 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze, ahead of many much larger countries including New Zealand, Portugal and Turkey.
Athlete Daniella Vinent set the last day off to a flying start when she claimed gold in the women's 800m final, closely followed by a silver medal winning run by Gino Francis in his division of the men's 800m race. Later in the day the Gibraltar 4x100m relay team came in 7th in their final.
Meanwhile in the pool Douglas Pitaluga followed up his gold medal of the previous day in the freestyle with a 4th position in the men's 100m breaststroke final.
The two Gibraltarian golfers, Julian de las Heras and Nicholas Payas had been quietly training and competing all week before their events reached a conclusion on Wednesday and their scores for the week were added together to determine their final positions. Julian had been exceeding all expectations with constantly improving scores on the World class Yas Links course such that, despite a poor round in the final day, he had built up a strong enough lead over his closest rival to take a well earned silver medal. Nicholas was competing in the Level one skills event and equalled his achievements in Los Angeles at the last games in 2015 with another well earned silver medal.
In the bocce event Malcolm Miel and Dorian Zammit finished off in style with a bronze medal in their men's doubles division.
With the late gold medal by JJ Buttigieg in equestrian on Tuesday evening, Team Gibraltar's final medal tally was 8 gold, 7 silver and 3 bronze!