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NZ wins its first gold at 2015 World University Games

New Zealand wins its first gold at 2015 World University Games

10 July, 2015

Cantabrian Angie Petty has won New Zealand’s first gold medal at the 2015 World University Games in South Korea with a scorching run to take out the title in the 800m final.

In doing so, Petty achieved a goal she’s been chasing for some time - to run under two minutes, posting a time of 1:59.06.

``I’ve been waiting so long to get under that two minutes and to have smashed it by that much … it’s really just a dream come true. I’m just so grateful for everyone that’s helped me to get there because it’s definitely not a solo effort.’’

Petty (nee Smit) had taken the lead in both her heat and semi-final at the athletics stadium in the South Korean city of Gwangju and had thought she might have to also take charge of tonight’s race. But early on Jamaica’s Simoya Kadine took the lead and it was a composed Petty who waited until the time was right to make her move, and come home with gold.

``I just gave it everything right to the line and thankfully it was enough,’’ the 23-year-old said.

The Jamaican won the silver and bronze went to Fabienne Kohlmann of Germany.

Petty had set her previous personal best of 2:00.03 at the last World University Games in 2013 in Kazan, Russia. She finished fifth over the same distance at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

She posted a personal best in the 1500m a few weeks ago, and said she felt like she was due to go under the two minute mark in the 800m.

``My training was going really well and (coach) Maria (Hassan) had the confidence in me that I could do it. It was just about getting out in the right race and it finally came.’’

New Zealand has now won a gold and two silvers at these World University Games. Eliza McCartney won silver in the women’s pole vault while rower Toby Cunliffe-Steel won silver in the men’s lightweight single scull.

The World University Games is a major international sporting event that is held every two years for student athletes from around the world. This year more than 13,000 athletes from 141 countries are estimated to be competing in Gwangju at the Games, also known as the Universiade.


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