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NZ sixth on medal table after Games day one

Megan Whelan, Engagement Editor

After the first day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, New Zealand sits at sixth on the medal table.

It was a big day in the velodrome in Brisbane, with a gold and two silver medals coming in the cycling.

The defending champion men's sprint team took gold, beating England by over half a second. They set a new Commonwealth record of 42.822 seconds in qualifying.

The women's 4000m team pursuit won New Zealand's first medal of the Games when finishing second to Australia - who were a class above their opponents, lapping the New Zealanders on the final lap.

The women's sprint team of Emma Cumming and Natasha Hansen also had to settle for second to the Australians.

The men's pursuit team was disqualified from contesting their bronze medal race after one of their bikes was found to have breached technical conditions.

The team's high-performance director Martin Barras said the blame ultimately lay with him and he apologised to the riders.

"Unfortunately these things happen, different rigs have different measurements," Barras said.

Despite high hopes, it was a disappointing day for New Zealand's triathletes.

In the men's race, Ryan Sissons finished fifth, Tayler Reid 11th and Tony Dodds 16th.

Sissons said he needed five to 10 more seconds in the race.

"I executed the race how I wanted but didn't get the result on the podium. But that's racing."

The women also finished down the field: Nicole van der Kaay was the best in seventh place, Rebecca Spence 10th and medal hopeful Andrea Hewitt 13th.

It was a mixed result for New Zealand's swimmers, with three going through to the finals tomorrow.

In the men's 50m butterfly, Daniel Hunter and Sam Perry both placed third in their respective semi-final heats with new personal bests.

Hunter finished with a time of 23.93s and Perry with 23.99s.

They both go through to the 50m men's butterfly final tomorrow.

Swimming medal prospect Corey Main also placed third in his semi-final race, but with his time of 55.02 not as fast as qualifying.

With the seventh fastest time after the second semi-final race, he will race in the 100m backstroke final on Friday.

The 23-year-old made the finals of both backstroke events at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Two New Zealand gymnasts, Mikhael Koudinov and Ethan Dick, qualified for the men's individual all-around final.

The New Zealand men's team finished sixth in the team final but Kyleab Ellis comfortably qualified for the vault apparatus final and Devy Dyson just squeaked through to the apparatus final for rings.

The Silver Ferns beat Uganda 64-51 in pool play, and the Tall Ferns beat Malaysia 86-44.

The New Zealand women's hockey team beat Scotland 6-1, and in lawn bowls, Jo Edwards won both her early matches.

On Friday, there are medal chances in the pool, more from the velodrome, and in weightlifting.

Beach volleyball is also making its first appearance at the Commonwealth Games.


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