Published Tuesday 26 August 2014

The men’s 5-a-side hockey won against Mexico in the placing classification rounds today and the 3x3 basketball team bowed out of competition in their game against Poland, providing an eventful day nine at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

MEN’S HOCKEY

The men’s hockey team won in the classification rounds today in a crushing 9-2 victory over Mexico. The NZ team, returning from a difficult defeat to South Africa in the quarter-finals, came out on to the field with a roar, scoring four goals in the first third and only conceding one. Stand-out plays came from Richmond Lum, 18, Auckland, and Dylan Thomas, 18, Napier, who scored four goals each, with Robbie Capizzi, 17, Auckland, rounding out the goals.

The team is “feeling miles high” according to assistant coach Lincoln Churchill.

“They got stuck in and put in a tough fight,” he said. “Overall the boys were in true form.”

GOLF

Round two in the golfing mixed doubles was a challenge for New Zealand’s Julianne Alvarez, 18, Lower Hutt, and Nick Coxon, 18, Hamilton.

The two players left round one with a score of 68 and four under par, but struggled in the second round finishing one over and a score of 73. The first round was called four ball, best ball where the lowest score was taken from the two players, while the second round was an alternate-shot game of foursomes over the 18 holes, with men teeing off the odds.

The team shot a one over 73. “They combined really well in segments,” said coach Karen de Lautour. “But in other segments they struggled with the competition format.”

The New Zealanders played with the Korean team, one of whom was the gold medal winner for the women’s individual Soyoung Lee.

“Everything she did was really good to watch, to see how she went about her routines and getting the ball in the hole,” said de Lautour. “As well, the Korean team is so gracious.”

This provided the young kiwis with a good learning experience heading in to day three, where they will play a seeded individual stroke play game with the team from Belgium and will tee-off at 12.30pm (NZ). 

BASKETBALL

The 3x3 basketball team lost to Poland today in the elimination rounds, 16-14 in a closely contested game. It was close throughout the game, the New Zealand team taking the lead at one point but falling short by two points by the buzzer.

“It was a little bit of lack of experience at the higher level,” said coach Anthony Corban. “But I can’t fault the boys for lack of effort.”

This marks the end of the tournament for the team, which consists of Isaac Davidson, 17, Auckland; Izayah Mauriohooho Leafa, 17, Wellington; Raymond Penny, 18, Auckland; 18, Auckland; and Sam Timmins, 17, Dunedin.

WRESTLING

Matthew Downes, 16, Auckland, and Jordan Marshall, 16, Hamilton competed in the men’s Greco-Roman wrestling today, bowing out of competition with a 7th and 8th placing respectively.

Downes fought four times in the 58kg weight class, finishing 7th after his Dominican Republic opponent, Nelson de los Santos, failed to show for the match.

Coach Scott Boness said, “He wrestled as well as he could have,” but was disappointed with the no-show in the final match.

Marshall competed in the 69kg weight class, coming in 8th overall.

Boness said Marshall’s 3rd match was the most frustrating because the Peruvian opponent, Nilton Soto, remained passive.

“I was disappointed there wasn’t a passivity call on his opponent,” said Boness. The lack of a call meant that Marshall was on the attack for most of the first two minutes, while his opponent took the defensive approach.

“It was pretty tough but the better man got there at the end of the day,” said Marshall after the match, before continuing to speak about the experience of competing at the Youth Olympic level. “There’s so much that I can work on now,” he said. “Stepping up on those steps you actually realise how much it means that you’re here.”