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Boyle Eighth in Freestyle Final

Boyle eighth in freestyle final

Lauren Boyle was unable to back up her sensational effort in the heats and finished eighth in the Olympic women’s 400m freestyle final.

Boyle swam 4min 03.63s to smash her own national record in the heats. In the final she was slightly sluggish and recorded 4min 06.25s.

The other New Zealander in action was Wellingtonian Gareth Kean in the men’s 100m backstroke semi-finals.

Kean, the 14th of 16 qualifiers for the semis, went out like a rocket and led in his semi at the halfway point. However, his pace slackened noticeably on the journey home and he finished eight in his race, 13th overall, in a time of 54.00s.

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New Zealand’s other swimmer in the 100m backstroke, Daniel Bell, recorded 55.53s in the heats and was 37th overall.

In the women’s 100m backstroke, Melissa Ingram finished fifth in her heat in 1min 01.94s, which left her in 30th place overall among the 45 starters in her event.

Matthew Stanley failed to advance in the men’s 200m freestyle, where his 1min 48.19s placed him 18th overall, just outside the top 16 for the semi-finals.

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Dawson does the business

Tauranga kayaker Mike Dawson put together two good runs on the opening day of the canoe slalom event to qualify comfortably for the semi-finals.

Dawson, who has dominated the sport in New Zealand since winning the first of his seven national titles in 2004, secured eighth place among the 22 starters after the two qualifying runs.

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Brilliant start by hockey women
The New Zealand women’s hockey team got their Olympic campaign off to the perfect start when they beat Australia 1-0 at the Riverbank Arena last night (NZT).

It was the first hockey match of the London Olympics and for New Zealand it was the sweetest of results.

In 1976 the New Zealand men won the Olympic gold medal by beating Australia 1-0 in the final and the women were thrilled to replicate that score.

It was always going to be a close game, with New Zealand ranked sixth in the world and Australia seventh going into the Olympics.

The Black Sticks set the game alight in the third minute when Cathryn Finlayson scored after a goalmouth melee following a penalty corner. From that point, there was an assuredness about the New Zealanders’ play and the Australians looked increasingly frazzled as they desperately set out to equalise.

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Uru and Taylor do it comfortably

Former men’s lightweight double sculls world champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor qualified comfortably for the Olympic semi-finals of their event.

With the top two finishers in their heat to progress to the semis, the New Zealanders and the British pair of Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter became engaged in their own private battle, well ahead of the other three crews.

There wasn’t such good news for New Zealanders Louise Ayling and Julia Edward in the lightweight women’s double sculls. They will have to take the long route to the semi-finals after finishing third in their heat.

With only the first two gaining direct entry to the semi-finals, they now move to the repechage.

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Strong effort by Villumsen

Linda Villumsen, Denmark’s gift to New Zealand sport, produced an excellent ride in difficult conditions to finish 18th in the 140km women’s cycling road race.

Villumsen, who was fifth in the same event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when representing Denmark, handled the wet road and challenging course well during the 3h 35min race.

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Oly-Whites draw with Egypt

The New Zealand men’s football team kept their Olympic hopes alive by securing a 1-1 draw against Egypt at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Having lost 1-0 to Belarus in their opening match, the Oly-Whites could not afford another defeat. They were looking for a win to enhance their chances of progressing in the tournament, but in the end had to settle for a draw.

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Todd rolls back the years

A superb effort by veteran rider Mark Todd has put New Zealand in a strong position after the dressage section of the three-day evening competition at Greenwich Park.

He incurred just 39.10 penalty points to stand in third place among 74 starters in the dressage section.

Todd received excellent support from his team-mates too, so that New Zealand held fourth equal position going into what is traditionally their strongest discipline, the cross-country.

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Olympic Sailing Underway
Kiwis competing at the Sailing event of the London 2012 Olympic Games made a solid start in near perfect sailing conditions off the shores of Weymouth.

Winds of 12-18kn saw Finn Sailor Dan Slater finish his first two races in seventh and eleventh place, leaving him in seventh place overall at the end of day one.

Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner had one of those experiences of getting caught on the wrong side of an early shift in the first race, which left them 15th in that race, and an improved second race where they finished seventh.

The women’s match racing team of Stephanie Hazard, Jenna Hansen and Susannah Pyatt started the round robin well although had a nail biting finish to the first race. They lead nearly the entire race, only losing by the narrowest of margins on opposite end of the finish line to the Dutch team. They succeeded in winning their second match against Anna Kjellberg of Sweeden by a considerable margin.

Erakovic made to wait

Marina Erakovic doesn’t have the best of luck with weather at the Olympic Games.

Erakovic, New Zealand’s sole representative in the tennis events at London, had her first-round singles match against Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak postponed because of intermittent rain.

The match looms as a close one – Erakovic has a world ranking of 46th and Wozniak 54th. It is scheduled to be played tonight (NZT).

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