Gold And Silver For New Zealand
470 sailors take gold
Sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie capped a memorable day for New Zealand at the Olympics.
Aleh and Powrie picked up the women’s 470 gold medal with a brilliant final-day performance that left their closest rivals, Great Britain, floundering.
The 470 gold is particularly significant. Except for boardsailing, New Zealand has not won an Olympic sailing gold medal since 1984. And Aleh and Powrie are the first women’s sailors to win a gold for New Zealand since boardsailor Barbara Kendall at Barcelona in 1992.
Fighting silver for Walker
New Zealand BMX champion Sarah Walker completed some unfinished business at these Olympics.
Walker, 24, and one of the world’s leading riders for several years, worked hard to earn the silver medal in the women’s event.
Though she made no mistake in the final, following super-slick Colombian Mariana Pajon all the way and finishing a clear second, Walker had some flutters on her path to the final.
In the women’s final, Walker recorded a time of 38.113s, behind the flying Pajon’s 37.706s. Laura Smulders of The Netherlands was third in 38.231s.
Hockey women finish fourth
The New Zealand women’s hockey team missed out on an Olympic medal in difficult circumstances at Riverbank Arena.
They had to confront a Great Britain team buoyed by excellent crowd support to try to salvage a bronze medal, and the task proved too much.
Great Britain deservedly won 3-1, all the goals coming in the second half.
Canoe sprinter Lisa Carrington lived up to her world champion tag when she qualified fastest for the K1 200 final at Eton Dorney.
In her heat she padded easily to finish second behind a major rival, Natasa Douchev-Janics of Hungary. Carrington was timed at 41.401s, behind the Hungarian’s 41.221s. With six from the heat to progress to the semis, it was little more than a shakedown.
Carrington was a lot more pumped up for her semi-final and won her heat in a sizzling 40.528s.
Aucklander Vaughn Scott lost his first-round bout 9-5 in the under-80kg division of the Olympic taekwondo competition.
Scott, ranked 18th in the world, came up against a tough opponent in Argentinian Sebastian Crismanich, the seventh seed.