27/7 - Cyclists lead the way again
Cyclists lead the way again
Published Sunday 27 July 2014
For the third consecutive day the cyclists stole centre stage and the judokas again got among the medals at the Commonwealth Games.
The highlight of the day was the brilliant gold medal performance in the gruelling points race by Tom Scully, but there were six medals to celebrate for New Zealand today.
The New Zealand cyclists showed the way at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
Tom Scully won the 40km points race in outstanding fashion, and Aaron Gate picked up a bronze medal in the same race.
Scully, Gate and Shane Archbold, who all looked impressive in qualifying, rode a smart final. Scully was aggressive and racked up early points. He put three laps on most of the field and always looked strong. However, he was assisted by some excellent work from his team-mates.
By the time they had completed their 160 laps, Scully had 98 points, Isle of Man’s Peter Kennaugh was second with 84 and Gate was just behind on 82.
Scully, the world championship silver medallist in this event in Colombia earlier this year, is a great success story. He had a terrible crash while riding in Ireland and was forced to take a year out from the sport, but has come back better than ever this year. The medals won by Scully and Gate were the eighth and ninth of the New Zealand track cycling squad in Glasgow.
Earlier in the day, in the men’s 1000m time trial, New Zealanders Simon van Velthooven and Matthew Archibald grabbed silver and bronze behind Australian Scott Sunderland, the defending champion.
Archibald posted his time of 1min 01.162s relatively early and it held up until the final ride, which pitted van Velthooven against Sunderland. It was a tight race, but the Australian drove through to the finish well and set a games record with 1min 00.675s. Van Velthooven was clocked at 1min 01.060.
Steph McKenzie qualified in fourth position in the women’s sprint, with a time of 11.336s, a personal best. Unfortunately, she was outgunned in consecutive races by Malaysian Fatehah Mustapa and bowed out in the quarter-finals. In the race for fifth to eighth places, McKenzie was involved in a crash.
Adrian Leat, who won a silver medal yesterday in the men’s under-73kg division, made the point afterwards that the judo team felt they had a point to prove in Glasgow.
“We heard a few comments about us just being happy to be selected,” he said. “We talked about that and have really vowed to prove we belong here.”
The judo team have certainly done that. On the first day, Darcina Manuel won a bronze medal, and Leat and Moira de Villiers followed that with silvers.
Today all four judokas in action reached the semi-final. None were able to push on and earn a bout for the gold, but Tim Slyfield and Jason Koster came away with bronzes.
Slyfield in the under-100kg division scored a hard-fought win over Welshman Rusian Rancev, courtesy of a yuko. However, in his semi-final he went down to Pakistani Shah Hussain Shah. It was a very tight match and the Pakistani got there in the end on a penalty countback. Slyfield bounced back strongly in his bronze medal match against Sahil Pathania, a powerful Indian. It was tough going until 2min 38s into the contest Slyfield threw the Indian to score an ippon and seal the bronze medal.
Also in the under-100kg section, Jason Koster won his first bout over Pathania, but then ran into Scottish hero – and team flagbearer - Euan Burton. The pair were initially well-matched, but Burton pinned after two minutes and struggled after that. Koster sealed another bronze medal for New Zealand by battling to a victory on penalty countback over Australian Duke Didier.
Sam Rosser began impressively in the over-100kg division, comprehensively beating Parikshit Kumar of India. The bout lasted only 1min 40s, and in that time Rosser imposed a yuko and then a bout-ending ippon. Rosser looked to be dominating Scot Christopher Sherrington in their semi-final, but after 1min 31s the Scot threw Sherrington to win by an ippon. In his bronze medal bout, Rosser lost to Welshman Mark Shaw.
In the under-90kg division Ryan Dill-Russell was a decisive quarter-final victor over Jeewantha Wickramage of Sri Lanka, but in his semi-final he came unstuck against South African Zack Piontek, after just under two minutes. In his bronze medal bout, he was well beaten by Englishman Gary Hall.
New Zealand, so strong in sectional play, found the going more difficult at the quarter-final stages at the Kelvingrove lawn bowls greens today. Only two of the four teams that completed sectional play today managed to advance past the quarter-finals stage.
In the men’s triples, Tony Grantham, Shannon McIlroy and Ali Forsyth completed their section play by beating Jersey 22-9. However, in the quarter-finals, they came out on the wrong side of a really tight match against South Africa. It was 13-13 after 12 ends and the South Africans led by one going into the final end. When they took one shot on that head they finished with a 19-17 victory to eliminate New Zealand.
The women’s four – Selina Goddard, Amy McIlroy, Val Smith and Mandy Boyd - have been equally impressive and they were too good for Wales, winning 13-6. In their quarter-final match against Zambia, the New Zealanders were ruthless, racing to a 16-5 victory.
Jo Edwards remained unbeaten in the women’s singles, but she had to work hard to beat Carmen Anderson of Norfolk Island 21-16 in her final section match. Oddly, she drew Anderson again in the quarter-final, and again it was tight – this time 21-17 to the New Zealander.
The men’s pair of Blake Signal and Richard Girvan suffered their first defeat, losing 19-11 to Scotland, in their final sectional match, but still advanced to the quarter-finals. There they suffered a heavy defeat, 25-9, at the hands of Scots Paul Foster and Alex Marshall.
Meanwhile, New Zealand had a chance to win a para bowls medal, but David Stallard and Sue Curran went down 14-11 to Australians Tony Scott and Joy Forster in the bronze medal match. It was a close affair, and the scores were locked at 9-9 until Australia edged ahead over the final four ends. Stallard and Curran ended the competition fourth.
After their fright against Malawi in their first match, when they won by just three goals, the New Zealand netball team bounced back strongly to beat Scotland 71-14.
The New Zealanders led 16-2 at quarter-time and increased their lead remorselessly against the outclassed home team.
New Zealand coach Waimarama Taumaunu started the game with Ellen Halpenny at goal shoot, but in her debut international, halfpenny suffered an ankle injury. She continued until halftime when Cathrine Latu replaced her.
Taumaunu took the opportunity to give most of her squad a run and was pleased afterwards.
“The opposition wasn’t as strong as yesterday, but I was pleased with how we went,” she said. “The Malawi game gave us a jolt and is a reminder that nothing can be taken for granted.”
Taumaunu said it one of the lessons learned from the Malawi match was that more time needed to be allowed for transport and preparation.
There were very nearly a boilover at the netball when Australia all but lost to England, eventually winning 49-48. Australia trailed for the entire match except the final few moments and the English were left ruing a missed shot near the end by goal shoot Joanne Harten. Shooter Caitlin Bassett clinched the victory for Australia with a goal 15 seconds before the end.
Joelle King remained on track for a medal in the women’s singles squash after beating Irishwoman Medeline Perry, the seventh seed, 11-6, 11-4, 11-6 in a quarter-final match.
King, seeded third, now meets favourite Nicol David of Malaysia, a tough assignment – David has been ranked No in in the world since 2006 and is one of the all-time greats.
In the men’s quarter-finals, the sole surviving New Zealander, Campbell Grayson, put in an outstanding effort and all but beat fourth-seeded Indian Saurav Ghosal. Grayson, seeded 12th, took the first two games, playing some very fine drop shots and volleying well. He began to tire, but fought hard and led 6-2 in the fourth game, before the Indian gradually got on top and won in five.
New Zealand narrowly failed to get among the medals today.
The all-Wellington team of Samantha Lucie-Smith, Emma Robinson, Tash Hind and Samantha Lee finished a fighting fourth in the women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay final. The race fluctuated and for part of the journey New Zealand held second place, but the Australians and Canadians finished superbly and England edged out New Zealand for the bronze.
Australia won in 7min 49.90s. New Zealand were fifth in 7min 57.47s, five seconds behind third-placed England.
New Zealand had qualified second for the final, clocking 8min 02.28s, more than four seconds behind pace-setters Australia, but still quicker than the higher-rated English squad.
New Zealanders were hoping for a medal from Glenn Snyders in the 100m breaststroke final, especially after his swift sub-60-second semi-final swim. In the final, Snyders was timed at 1min 00.64s, nearly a second down on his preliminary time, and finished fifth. The race was won by Englishman Adam Peaty in 58.94s.
Laura Quilter recorded 26.92s to qualify 10th equal for the women’s 50m butterfly semi-finals.
A day after the New Zealand women’s hockey team pummelled Trinidad and Tobago 13-0, the New Zealand men handed out a repeat does to the Trinidad and Tobago men’s team.
The score was “only” 8-0, but the game was nearly as one-sided.
Nick Haig, 2, captain Phil Burrows and Shay Neal scored in the first half and Simon Child, Hugo Inglis, Alex Shaw and Neal, again, added second-half goals.
The New Zealand men’s next match should be a much more testing affair, against England.
It seemed for a long time as if New Zealand might pick up a medal in the mixed team triathlon, but the team eventually had to settle for a close fifth, behind England, South Africa, Australia and Canada.
The event comprises two men and two women from each team. They each complete a swim of 375 metres, a 10km cycle ride and a 2.5km run.
Andrea Hewitt led off for New Zealand, followed by Tony Dodds. They did well to keep New Zealand in the leading bunch. Dodds was up against individual triathlon silver medallist Jonny Brownlee and did well to stay on the pace. New Zealand’s second woman, Nicky Samuels, kept up the pressure and going into the final leg a medal seemed in prospect.
The incomparable Alistair Brownlee cleared out for England, and near the end of his bike leg, New Zealander Ryan Sissons began to lose contact with the leaders.
England won in 1h 13min 24s. New Zealand were timed at 1h 14min 42s, 28 seconds off a bronze medal.
Sissons was not happy with his performance. "I'm pretty disappointed and I feel like I let the team down on that last leg. It's pretty average really," he said. “I didn’t really have the legs to keep up.”
The New Zealand sevens team kept alive their imposing record of never having lost a match at the Commonwealth Games – but it was a close-run thing.
The team, which has won four Commonwealth Games gold medals (coached each time by Sir Gordon Tietjens), began impressively enough with a 39-0 win over Canada, with tries to captain D J Forbes 2, Ben Lam 2, Tim Mikkelson, Akira Ioane and Bryce Heem.
It all seemed to be going to plan in the next match, against Scotland, when New Zealand led 17-0 at halftime, with tries to Sherwin Stowers 2, and Lam. But then things came unstuck. The Scots fought back gamely and a match that was already beginning to look sticky got more difficult when Mikkelson and then Gillies Kaka were both yellow-carded. New Zealand at one point had just five players on the field. They were relieved to come away with a 17-14 win to keep their clean sheet intact.
There were no such dramas in the third match when New Zealand steamrolled Barbados 59-0. There were nine tries, by Declan O’Donnell 2, Joe Webber 2, Stowers 2, Kaka, Sam Dickson and Scott Curry.
Chad Milnes fought confidently in his opening bout, against Sura Chakma of Bangladesh. The 60kg lightweight outclassed Chakma and won every round on all three judges’ scorecards, knocking down the Bangladeshi in the third round.
Eric Finau was next up in the middleweight (75kg) division. He won comfortably enough on points over Tongan Sosefo Falekaono. The New Zealander won the first two rounds with a bit to spare, but the aggressive Tongan came on strongly to snatch the third round.
Leroy Hindley completed New Zealand’s interest in the boxing for the day when he outpointed Bangladeshi Mohammad Al Amin. It was a close fight all the way. The New Zealander began slower and trailed until midway through the second round. The fight swung on a moment in the third round when Al Amin suffered a knockdown.
Jenna MacKenzie was slightly off the pace in the women’s 10m air rifle qualifying. The 21-year-old had rounds of 101.0, 100.2, 101.3, 101.3 for a total of 403.8, which left her in 20th place among the 26 starters.
In the men’s 10m air piston qualifying, New Zealander Ricky Zhao finished 18th of 30 starters. Zhao had rounds of 94, 94, 90, 94, 96, 91 for a total of 559, well behind the leader, Prakash Nanjappa of India, who totalled 580.
Defending champions Mike Collings and John Snowden pulled themselves up the field somewhat, but still could manage only eighth of 17 teams in the Queen’s Prize pairs final. The fullbore rifle pair began the day 12th, but finished on 583 points, 12 behind the winners, David Luckman and Parag Patel of England.
Collings had scores of 49, 48, 50, 74, 69 and Snowden managed 50, 49, 49, 74, 71.
The shooting was disrupted for several hours by fog.
Both New Zealand teams bowled out at the quarter-final stage today.
The New Zealand women had hopes of upsetting India, but thought they were competitive, eventually went down 3-0. At No 1, Li Chunli lost 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5 to Indian Shamini Kumaresan. Karen Li lost 11-13, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6 to Manika Batra and Sun Yang and Karen Li lost 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 to Kumaresan and Madhurika Patkar.
The New Zealand men faced a far more daunting prospect, against the might Singapore team, and not surprisingly struggled to make any headway. Tengteng Liu lost 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 to Jian Zhan, a very commendable effort by the New Zealander, Phillip Xiao went down 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 to Hu Li and Shane Laugesen and Liu lost 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5 to Li and Ning Gao – another very competitive showing.
Mark Spooner and Cody Cole finished down the field in the men’s 69kg weightlifting division.
Spooner managed a total of 288kg, which was near his best and earned him sixth place. Cole was below his best form and totalled 272kg, for 10th.
Spooner began confidently with a snatch of 126kg. However, he then missed at 130kg twice. In the clean and jerk, he successfully lifted 157kg and 162kg, but missed at 171kg, which would have put him in the bronze medal position.
Cole snatched 122kg, then twice missed 126kg. He succeeded with 146kg and 150kg in the clean and jerk, but could not manage 158kg.