The first batch of athletes arrived on Monday night. (Seychelles Nation)
The Seychelles delegation that competed in the 11th Indian Ocean Island Games (IOIG) in Madagascar are returning to the island nation, with two groups of athletes and officials already back. A third is expected back on Wednesday afternoon.
At the Games, which took place from August 24 to September 3, Seychelles won a total of 84 medals – 11 gold, 33 silver, and 40 bronze, to finish fourth on the medals table.
The first batch of athletes arrived on Monday night, and were greeted on arrival in a celebratory fashion, with dance and music. There to welcome them were Designated Minister Jean-Francois Ferrari, along with fans, friends and family.
Ferarri revealed that all the athletes will meet President Wavel Ramkalawan in an event being planned for Saturday.
On the medals that Team Seychelles won, he said: “We are never satisfied with the amount of medals that that we have won, but I think for a nation of our size, we have not done that badly.”
Among the athletes who arrived in the first group was triple gold medal winner in swimming, Simon Bachmann.
“I am very happy and the welcome here is amazing and I want to thank Seychelles for the support,” said Bachmann, who added that now he plans to prepare for the world championship in February and also the 2023 Olympics.
As part of the games, it was announced that all athletes would be compensated for their performances. Each gold medal would be worth SCR40,000 ($2,988), silver medallists would receive SCR25,000 ($1,870) and winners of bronze medals would receive SCR10,000 ($748).
Swimmers Felicity Passon and Simon Bachmann are the winners of the most medals for Seychelles. Passon claimed 1 gold, 8 silver and 3 bronze medals, while Bachmann won 3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze medals.
Another gold medallist who returned on Monday night was boxer Keddy Agnes, who won his bout by knockout in the first round.
“As soon I get home, I will be packing my bags again as I will travel to Dakar, Senegal, for the Olympic qualifiers,” said Agnes.
Another group of athletes arrived in Seychelles on Tuesday early morning, and the last group is expected back on Wednesday afternoon.
Team Seychelles returns with 11 gold medals won which is one of the lowest the island nation wins at the IOIG. The lowest number of gold medals Seychelles has won at the IOIG was in 1990 in Madagascar with a total of six in the games that featured 13 disciplines.
Seychelles had its best performance in 2011, on home soil, finishing second on the medals’ table with 57 gold medals, one less than Reunion who topped the table with 58 gold medals.