Rowing success has Aussies in a tizz
Sat, 04 Aug 2012 3:24p.m.
By Sean Martin
You know things must be desperate for Australia when they have to resort to including New Zealand's medal tally with theirs to make them feel better about themselves at the London Olympics.
After their swimming guns failed to fire in the pool in the opening seven days, Australia enter week two with just one gold and sitting a lowly 19th on the medal table.
New Zealand, after snaring double rowing golds in 40 minutes to the dominant men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray and gutsy single sculler Mahe Drysdale, were briefly inside the top 10.
A bronze in the men's team pursuit before the end of the day means the Kiwis lie 12th with three gold and three bronze.
In terms of population, according to the Guardian newspaper, New Zealand is the most successful nation of the Olympics.
That has led some Australian journalists to work out the calculations if the teams were combined, as they were at the London Games in 1908.
A joint Australasia would sit seventh on the medal table after day seven.
New Zealand team boss Dave Currie is delighted with the start and says the Kiwis are well on track to achieve their goal of bringing up 100 Olympic medals, needing just four more to reach the milestone.
"It's a nice place to be after the first week," he said.
Speaking after the day's action, which included Lauren Boyle's fourth in the 800m freestyle final, Currie paid tribute to the hours of hard work Bond, Murray and Drysdale had put in to achieve their Olympic goal.
"Mahe, especially after what he went through in Beijing, displaying amazing courage, and the battles he's had since - it was just fantastic for him."
It would be easy for Currie to take delight in Australia's faltering start, but he is quick to deflect any questions about their worries.
"We're focused on what we're doing, we can't really worry about anyone else," he said. "But there'll be a lot of soul searching going on over there."
Aside from the success on the water at Eton Dorney, flag bearer Nick Willis made a winning start to his 1500m campaign when the athletics got under way. He won his heat and is into the semi-final on Sunday.
Heptathlete Sarah Cowley is 30th after a disappointing first day.
In the pool, aside from Boyle's record-breaking swim, the men's medley relay team just missed out on their final while Hayley Palmer didn't get past the heat stage in the 50m freestyle.
Shooter Ryan Taylor, a late addition to the Olympic team, was 25th in the 50m rifle prone, while weightlifter Richie Patterson was 14th in the 85kg division.
The New Zealand women's football team also exited the competition, after a gutsy 2-0 loss to defending champions US in their quarter-final.
Men's hockey captain Dean Couzins admitted the Black Sticks were out of medal contention after being thumped 5-1 by the Netherlands, and the women's team pursuit will need to produce a special ride on Saturday if they hope to ride for bronze.
Aiming higher than that are sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, who lie second after 10 races along with five other crews sitting inside the top 10 at the Weymouth regatta.
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5/08/2012 12:37:58 a.m.
Amazing so proud and grateful for the olympians representing New Zealand ...Qaulity not Qauntity Oz..
4/08/2012 9:11:14 p.m.
pamela reid wrote:
go nz you rock
4/08/2012 5:17:14 p.m.
"Same old Aussies, always cheating."
4/08/2012 4:26:12 p.m.
Brilliant stuff N Z Olympic team ! Lov being amongst the Ozzies and relishing our small countries success. Wonderful
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