The chance of a modern sports fairytale will keep New Zealand sports fans glued to the final day of the Olympic equestrian three-day event tomorrow.
New Zealand’s three remaining competitors in the event, Mark Todd, Jonelle Price and Clarke Johnstone will attempt to complete an unlikely comeback by winning the gold medal.
Australia lead going into the showjumping round, but there is only a rail or two in it, so the New Zealanders might yet pull off an unlikely win.
They didn’t begin too well in the dressage and had a major setback in the cross-country when Tim Price’s horse fell and he had to withdraw.
Yet the three remaining riders were so good in their cross-country rounds that New Zealand is in with a real chance of gold.
For Todd that would be truly remarkable. He is now 60 and is attending his eighth Olympics. He “retired” from competition 16 years ago, has been to an Olympics since as a coach and has been knighted. Now here is is deep into a successful second career.
Besides the New Zealand team’s chances, it will be worth keeping an eye on Todd in the individual standings – he is fourth at present, so a sixth Olympics medal, which would be a New Zealand record, is entirely feasible.
The rowing is getting more serious. Six New Zealand crews are in action, including single scullers Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg and the formidable pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.
The New Zealand women’s football team take on the strong French side. But buoyed by a win in their last match, and the decision of Fifa’s disciplinary committee to overturn the controversial red card suspension of team captain Abby Erceg, the New Zealanders will be optimistic of a good performance.
Another team looking for an important win is the men’s hockey team. They meet Spain and really need a good performance to get their quest for a quarter-final spot back on track.
Sailor Sam Meech continues his laser campaign and Josh Junior begins his quest for honours in the one-man dinghy.
Three New Zealand swimmers will be in action – freestyler Matthew Stanley, breaststroker Glenn Snyders and butterfly specialist Helena Gasson.
Finally, the New Zealand rugby sevens men’s side looks to follow up on the buzz created by the silver medal-winning women’s sevens side. The men play Japan and Kenya on the first day of the three-day tournament and will be wary of the improving Kenyan side in particular.Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Mark Todd Jonelle Price Clarke Johnstone Mahe Drysdale Emma Twigg Hamish Bond Eric Murray Abby Erceg Anna Green Katie Duncan Annalie Longo Ria Percival Ali Riley Rosie White Kirsty Yallop Betsy Hassett Amber Hearn Hannah Wilkinson Erin Nayler Katie Bowen Sarah Gregorius Rebecca Rolls Rebekah Stott Meikayla Moore Jasmine Pereira Ryan Archibald Simon Child Shea McAleese Bradley Shaw Blair Hilton Stephen Jenness Shay Neal Nick Wilson Hugo Inglis Arun Panchia Blair Tarrant Devon Manchester Kane Russell James Coughlan Nic Woods Hayden Phillips Sam Meech Josh Junior Glenn Snyders Helena Gasson DJ Forbes Tim Mikkelson Gillies Kaka Sam Dickson Scott Curry Joe Webber Akira Ioane Sonny Bill Williams Augustine Pulu Rieko Ioane Regan Ware Sione Molia Equestrian - Eventing Rowing Football Hockey Swimming Sailing Rugby - Sevens