Silver tops Beijing medal haul
Thu, 06 Sep 2012 10:34a.m.
New Zealand's Paralympic team has bettered their medal haul from Beijing after tandem cyclists Philippa Gray and Laura Thompson won the Kiwis' 13th medal at the London Paralympics.
The Southland duo, who had already won gold and bronze in the velodrome, claimed silver in the 24km B time trial at the Brands Hatch raceway.
They covered the distance on the undulating course in 35 minutes 07.68 seconds, to miss out on gold by five seconds.
Gray said the medal was a nice surprise as the pair had been focused on the track and had only completed eight rides on the road together prior to coming to London.
"It was nasty, this hasn't been an event we've trained for, and it's a bit of a bonus," she said.
At Beijing four years ago the New Zealand team won 12 medals.
Other cyclists competing at the Brands Hatch motor circuit in Kent did not enjoy the same success.
Taranaki's Nathan Smith, brother of All Black Conrad, found the going a "little lumpy" during his C3 individual time trial, finishing 11th out of the 14 riders.
Smith, who is a leg amputee, struggled to maintain his momentum up the steeper parts of the course.
"On a flatter track I'm a real contender but here, with these hills I just couldn't get out of the saddle to keep it going," explained the father of two.
He competes the men's road race on Thursday which will be his final international ride.
"I'm definitely not going to Rio, I owe my boss a fair few hours and have quite a bit of time to make up with the kids and Crystal, my wife."
Northland's Fiona Southorn was fifth in the women's C5 time trial over the 16km course.
Sue Reid made her first appearance at the London Games in the H3 time trial finishing nearly two minutes off the podium in fourth.
Chris Ross finished 12th in his C5 time trial.
On the water at Weymouth it was another disappointing day for the two Kiwi crews with the SKUD18 pair of Jan Apel and Tim Dempsey finishing ninth and 10th while Paul Francis in the 2.4r picking up a 10th and 14th.
Apel and Dempsey are 10th while Francis is 13th overall.
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