Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Final wrap of day 6 - NZ at the 2012 Paralympic Games

05 Sep 2012
Final wrap of day 6 at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Daniel Holt proved that the longer distances in the pool are his forte, qualifying in third for the 400m S13 final and setting an Oceania record of 4:17.63 in the process. Two seconds behind the second qualifier from the Ukraine and fifteen seconds behind the fastest qualifier and now world record holder Ihar Boki of Belarus.

Boki went out and eclipsed the record he’d set in the morning session with a gold medal time of 3:58.78 in the final, while Holt finished just over one second off the bronze medal in 4:12.66, sinking his personal best and the Oceania record for the second time today.

“This morning I finished my race and I could still walk, so I knew I hadn’t given it enough and then that race there [the final] I was collapsing out of the pool.”

“Six seconds off the Oceania record in one day,” grinned Holt.

Holts progression here at the Games and over the past few years has been steadily consistent, the 20-year old from Auckland has found himself one back, in fifth, for the past few years amongst the same competition.

“The next step now is to come back and get that third spot."

“I’m chipping away at those places, slowly but surely,” admitted Holt who will now leave London on a high and with a vision for the future. "Rio is definitely an option, I’m looking at definitely coming back in the swimming and who knows what else.”

Tim Prendergast ran the race of his life in the Olympic Park, but had his world record ripped away from him as three fellow competitors ran under his record of 3:51.82 which had stood since July of 2006. The 33 year old who now resides in London wasn’t far off his own record, claiming 6th in 3:53.60.

From the four hundred and fifty metre mark Prendergast found himself a little boxed in as the leaders stepped on the gas, frustrating the former Wellingtonian who never really got another chance to challenge the leaders. “The pace was really on, that Kenyan who I had that wee sprint in at the end kept holding me up a bit and the top four guys got that gap. In 1500 metre running when you get ten metres in the last lap it’s very hard to catch it,” said an exhausted Prendergast.

Prendergast will get another chance to impress later in the week when the 4 time Paralympian will compete in the 800 metres. He’s not favoured to take a medal in the shorter distance but in his words, “get into the final and anything can happen.”

- Paralympics New Zealand

05 Sep 2012
More thought needed before heading back to the arena for Kiwi Paralympic dressage riders
New Zealand Paralympic dressage riders have given themselves a pass mark as they wrapped up their London 2012 campaigns, but admit there may have to be a serious rethink on how they get to Rio in four years time.

Both riders today indicated their intentions to compete in Brazil and feel their experiences in the English capital will lead to better results the next time around.

The costs involved getting debutants Anthea Gunner and Rachel Stock to the Games is no secret, with their bill for transporting and quarantining their horses ballooning well above one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. But in order to compete here that’s the cold hard reality.

Canterbury’s Gunner is even considering whether to sell her horse, known in the stables as Mask, and by her own admission, upgrade to one more to the judges liking and with the ability to get her to the next level. “If you want to win a medal you need to be on some pretty fancy looking horse power, but you also need to have the temperament to be able to handle these sorts of places. It’s going to be a hard road to find the perfect horse and Mask’s been the perfect horse to this point, but whether he’s going to be the right horse to continue with who knows."

“You just can’t afford to spend sixty thousand on transporting a horse back and forth for a season,” Gunner said when explaining her movements over the next 4 year cycle.

That horse may even find itself based in the heart of dressage country, Europe, meaning the 30 year old would commute to and from New Zealand and compete against top international competition on a more consistent basis. But even that radical move has hefty costs associated with it.

The other option is to get more international calibre judges to adjudicate in New Zealand, therefore exposing them to Kiwi riders, and Kiwi riders to them. This seems like a lot more of a level headed approach to an issue that needs addressing long before the next round of qualification starts.

Both combinations have been squeezed harder than most by the judges at Greenwich Park. More often than not three judges marked the Kiwi riders favourably, while the remaining two offered up lower marks than believed to be fair. From one side to the other both Gunner and Stock’s tests found the two sides 5 marks apart. “I know he [Huntingdale Incognito] was better each day, if they’re going to mark everyone low then you don’t feel quite so bad, because their starting point is obviously lower, but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense," admitted a frustrated Gunner.

At age 42 Waikato’s Stock wants to follow the lead of Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson and compete into her 50’s and beyond, and for good reason. She’s lucky enough to have two horses capable of getting her further up the podium. And the key to that is more international exposure.

Stock’s final test also highlighted the gap between European based athletes and the rest of the world, with her, one combination from Argentina and one from Israel just 3 out of 12 competitors to hail from outside of the UK or Europe.

Stock finished 9th with her final score of 66.85 made up of the five judges seeing her ride 67.250, 69.500, 70.000, 62.750, 64.750. Gunner finished 17th yesterday with a final score of 62.75.

- Paralympics New Zealand

05 Sep 2012
Midday wrap from London
Sophie Pascoe is in the final of the 100m Backstroke while Daniel Holt has also advanced to the 400m freestyle final tonight in London. Tim Prendergast is in action in the Olympic Park Stadium in the 1500m final tonight.

Peter Martin now knows the answer to his question, but it may not have been quite the answer he was looking for. After retiring from international competition ahead of the Beijing Paralympic Games the 50 year old farmer was today shown the competition has moved on without him.

Martin’s an athlete who competes hard, and has a top draw full of world records and medal to prove it, however his biggest throw today in the F52/53 javelin of 15:26 wasn’t enough to trouble the podium bound competitors eventually finishing in 6th position out of 9 throwers.

“I’m pretty disappointed” said Martin, “I haven’t had the best build up with injuries and so forth, but I just haven’t been able to find the form I had at home.”

Martin is a man that has given plenty to the disabled sporting community and is sure to stick around the scene but wasn’t drawn on what his plans are next, “we will just have to wait and see,” said Martin who’s returning home following the games to a flock full of ewes dropping lambs.

The New Zealand sailors just can’t seem to create any luck in Weymouth. The SKUD crew of Jan Apel and Tim Dempsey found themselves welded to the bottom of the leader board finishing race 6 in 11th and their second race of the day they went one better to grab 10th.

Paul Francis’s day in the 2.4 was a fraction better, but along way from his third place finish in the final race of the day yesterday, collecting 11th in race 7 and 12th in race 8.

Rebecca Dubber was off the pace in the S7 50 m freestyle heat in a time of 37:20 which earned the 19-year old Aucklander an 11th placed finish.

- Paralympics New Zealand


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland