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SCOOP Olympic Update, Thursday, Sept 28, 2000

SCOOP Olympic Update, Thursday, Sept 28, 2000

EXTREME frustration followed by utter despair were the feelings which best summed up New Zealand's experience of the 12th day of competition at Sydney 2000.

The frustration was almost tangible as New Zealand's Soling crew of Rod Davis, Alan Smith and Don Cowie had a semi-final berth ripped from their grasp when a Dutch protest was upheld resulting in a sudden-death sail-off between NZ and the Netherlands today.

A protest was lodged by the Dutch after New Zealand had qualified fourth, despite being on equal points and having lost to the Dutch in the semi-final qualification series, on the strength of their higher ranking at the completion of the first round fleet races.

The Dutch argument that their win over NZ in semi-final qualifications should see them earn a semi-final berth was taken into consideration and it was decidest the proper action will be to have an all-or-nothing match race today.


This obviously angered the NZ crew and they remained adamant they understood the rules to be firm that in event of a tie, at the end of semis qualifications,
then the fleet races rankings would determine who would make the finaL four.

However the race committee decided to make a farcial decision to over-rule the rule book and as if to appease the Dutch ordered a sudden-death rematch which could see NZ knocked out of medal contention instead of sailing for medals as they rightfully should be according to rules of the Olympic regatta.


This frustration was unfortunately soon overtaken by total despair as our New Zealand women's hockey team cracked under the huge pressure of a sports-mad nation desperate for Olympian success.


After having victory snatched from within their grasp via a controversial umpiring decision against Spain Kylie Foy's talented team was left in a must-win situation against an under-rated Argentine squad.

With the eyes of New Zealand and the hockey world upon them the script called for a famous Kiwi victory to propel our hard-working women into a clash for gold against arch-rivals Australia.


The pressure was on but the supremely confident Kiwi sports fan and media were all wondering by how much we would beat Argentina. Well someone forgot to translate the script into Spanish as the Argies come out highly motivated and determined to ruin all hopes of an Oceania hockey final.


Such was the pressure on the Kiwi women that when they started to crack under constant attack from a very good Argentina team that the cracks soon turned to gaping holes and eventually NZ were outclassed and overwhelmed in suffering a devastating 7-1 thrashing.


Despite the heavy defeat NZ coach Jan Borren remained tremendously proud of his team's achievements in Sydney but as a noted hard taskmaster he was obviously disappointed his charges couldn't maintain a consistent high standard throughout the entire tournament.

Other New Zealanders featuring on day 12 included Toni Hodgkinson who again disappointed in failing to progress in the women's 1500; Tasha Williams failed to get past qualifying in the hammer throw while Chantal Brunner was outclassed in the long-jump to finish down the field.


Meanwhile New Zealand's most noted track and field athlete Beatrice Faumuina again struggled to throw her best and as a former world champion will have to be saddened by her poor showing in the women's discus.

And on the roads around Sydney Chris Jenner, Julian Dean and Scott Guyton were up with pace in the peloton for much of yesterday's Olympic cycling road-race however they faded in the last lap battle for glory to finish well down the field. The fourth NZer in the road-race Glen Mitchell failed to finish.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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