Commonwealth Youth Games: Isle of Man name eight for Bahamas event

The Bahamas is made up of 700 islands spread across 100,000 square miles

A team of eight athletes will represent the Isle of Man at the largest ever Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas, it has been announced.

More than 1,300 people from about 70 Commonwealth countries will compete in the biggest sporting event to be hosted in the Caribbean archipelago.

The Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association said the team will compete in swimming, cycling and athletics.

The Games, first staged in 2000, will take place from 19-23 July.

Swimmers Joel Watterson, Kazia Whittaker, Emma Hodgson and Euan MacMurchie will be in the Manx team.

Thomas Bostock, Will Draper and Tara Ferguson will represent the island in cycling, and athlete David Mullarkey will compete in the 1,500m.

An IOMCGA spokesman said those selected had met "strict qualification criteria in order to gain their place".

The Commonwealth Games is the biggest international multi-sport event in which the Isle of Man is allowed to compete as an independent state.

IOMCGA president Basil Bielich said: "Not only is it a fantastic experience for these young athletes to be able to compete at international level but is also a great honour to be representing the Isle of Man.

"I'm sure they will do us all proud."

The number of officials who will travel with the team has yet to be finalised.

The Isle of Man has won four medals at previous Commonwealth Youth Games, three of them in 2011 when it hosted the event.