Swimmers hit best form

09 October 2010

New Zealand swimmers saved their best until this evening, earning four medals in the Commonwealth Games swimming competition. Hayley Palmer picked up a bronze medal in the women’s 50m freestyle. Palmer swam an impressive 25.01s, much quicker than her qualifying time, and only a fingernail from the silver. During her time in Delhi she has trimmed her national record from 25.35 to 25.01, a significant advance. The medal caps a fine meet for the 21-year-old freestyle specialist.

Shanks wins first gold

08 October 2010

Alison Shanks today became New Zealand’s first gold medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games with a commanding performance in her specialty event, the 3000m individual pursuit. The Otago rider, who is a former world title-holder in the individual pursuit, outclassed Wendy Houvenaghel of Northern Ireland in the gold medal ride-off. Their meeting was a replay of their race in the world championship final last year. It was a good final day at the velodrome for New Zealand because Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins and Ethan Mitchell won the silver medal in the men’s team sprint.

Glynn bags three for Black Sticks

08 October 2010

Katie Glynn had a day to remember as the New Zealand women’s hockey team pummelled England 4-1 in their crucial Commonwealth Games match-up today. The 21-year-old Aucklander scored three goals to help the Black Sticks to a surprisingly comfortable 4-1 victory over the world’s No 5-ranked team. The fourth goal for New Zealand, who trailed 1-0 early on, came from Sam Harrison. The Black Sticks led 2-1 at halftime and impressed with their aggression and keenness to dominate.

Team Celebrate Medal Success

08 October 2010

The New Zealand team gathered at "Base Camp" in their Delhi residence tonight to celebrate the success of the team's medal winners tonight. The Red Beach Grandstand, beanbags and fake grass floor of the team lounge were packed tightly with wrestlers, gymnasts, boxers and the newly arrived sevens team. Slightly reminiscent of students in their flat (but clean, with no beer), the team members clapped, laughed and ate cups of popcorn to celebrate the success of the xx swimmers, cyclists and Jess Hamill who won silver in the F34 shotput last night.

The tough side of being a professional athlete

08 October 2010

Joseph Romanos writes... Marina Erakovic gave us a peep at the other side of being a professional athlete today. Erakovic, New Zealand’s best tennis player, lost in the quarter-finals of the singles at the Commonwealth Games, beaten by local hero Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-3. Though it was her third singles match in Delhi, her first two opponents offered Erakovic negligible opposition and today’s was her first real test. She tried hard but was unable to make any headway against an opponent who looked confident and who wielded a formidable forehand and a tricky sliced service.

Five swimmers qualify for finals

08 October 2010

New Zealanders enjoyed another successful afternoon in the pool today, with five swimmers qualifying for finals tomorrow. Daniel Bell excelled in qualifying third in the 100m backstroke in 54.38s, while team-mate Gareth Kean, already a silver medallist in the 200m backstroke, swam in the same race and qualified sixth in 55.26s. Hayley Palmer, who has swum impressively in Delhi, qualified second in the 50m freestyle in 25.11s.

Cycling medal haul grows

08 October 2010

New Zealand’s red-hot track cycling squad picked up another three medals at the track today. The men’s team pursuiters lost their finals ride to Australia and had to settle for silver, Joanne Kiesanowski grabbed a silver on the line in the women’s scratch race and Sam Webster, who has looked sharp all week, beat team-mate Eddie Dawkins to win the bronze medal in the sprint. To the uninitiated the teams pursuit effort looked a shambles. Sam Bewley had dropped off by the 2.5km point and by the end the other three New Zealand riders were scattered around the track.

Two losses in the tennis

07 October 2010

New Zealand didn’t have the happiest of times of it in the Commonwealth Games tennis singles tournament today. Davis Cup player Rubin Statham lost 6-3, 6-4 to Indian Somdev Devvarman in the quarter-finals.Statham, 23, was seeded sixth in the singles, but found the accuracy and depth of the top-seeded Devvarman’s groundstrokes difficult to overcome. The match was played in steamy conditions that seemed to sap Statham’s energy in the second set, especially with the amount of scuttling along the baseline he was required to do in chasing the Indian’s shots.

Swimmers smiling

07 October 2010

Moss Burmester led a successful outing for New Zealand swimmers at the pool this morning. Burmester, looking to atone for his disappointing result in his specialty event, the 200m butterfly, qualified ninth for the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly, the race in which he won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal four years ago in Melbourne. His time today was 54.69s.

Tough battle for Silver Ferns

07 October 2010

The Silver Ferns’ stepped up their campaign to defend their Commonwealth Games netball title with a hard-fought 47-41 win over England today. The New Zealanders trailed for much of the match. They were down 24-22 at halftime and 35-34 going into the final quarter.

King Shows a Champion's Ability

07 October 2010

Joseph Romanos writes... Squash player Joelle King could be following in some illustrious footsteps if her performances at the Delhi Commonwealth Games are an indication. King has long been touted a coming player and the 21-year-old from Cambridge is now really delivering the goods at senior level. Whether she’ll ever match the performances of Susan Devoy, Leilani Joyce and Carol Owens (the latter an Australian who immigrated to New Zealand and then wore the Silver Fern with pride) and reach the world No 1 ranking is yet to be seen.

Hamill strikes silver at stadium

07 October 2010

Southlander Jess Hamill got New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games track and field campaign off to a flying start when she won the silver medal in the F34 shot put this evening. Hamill, 20, had a best throw this evening of 7.17m. Once her level of disability was taken into account this earned her 979 points and placed her second behind Australian Louise Ellery, who totalled 1110 points. The New Zealander para athlete was comfortably ahead of third-placed Gemma Prescott of England, who finished with 952 points.