Bowls silver for Smith

14 October 2010

New Zealander Val Smith, who had a dismal start to her Commonwealth Games campaign, went within one match of winning the gold medal today. Eventually the Nelson bowler, the current world singles champion, lost in the final to young English bowler Natalie Melmore 7-6, 11-2. Smith began her time in Delhi with four losses from her first six games and it seemed she was out of semi-final contention. However, she fought back gamely and put together a six-match winning streak that took her all the way to the final.

Gold and silver for squash players

14 October 2010

Joelle King was the toast of the New Zealand squash this evening after coming away from the Commonwealth Games with gold and silver medals. King, the rising star of New Zealand squash, teamed with Jaclyn Hawkes to win the women’s doubles. Then she and Martin Knight lost a long, tough final of the mixed doubles. In the women’s doubles, King and Hawkes beat the English pairing of Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro 11-9, 11-10 in a knife-edge encounter. After trailing 10-6 in the second game, King and Hawkes peeled off five straight points to seal the match.

Heartbreaking defeat for hockey women

14 October 2010

New Zealand were denied a Commonwealth Games women’s hockey gold medal by the cruelest of circumstances today. The higher-ranked Australian beat New Zealand in the final in a penalty shootout after scores were locked at 2-2 at full-time and after 15 minutes of golden goal extra time.Australia won the shootout 4-2. The New Zealanders showed their fighting spirit by equalising at 2-2 with only 35 seconds of normal time remaining. They had the better of the second half and had plenty of chances in the extra time period.

Villumsen takes silver in time trial

13 October 2010

New Zealand cyclist Linda Villumsen was pipped for the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games women's road time trial today. Denmark-born Villumsen, who gained New Zealand citizenship in December, was just five seconds slower than Canadian Tara Whitten. Whitten clocked 38min 59.30s over the 29km course. Villumsen's time was 39min 04.15sec. The 25-year-old New Zealander was disappointed afterwards not to have turned silver into gold. "Silver is good but I really wanted to win this one," she said. “I'm a bit disappointed in myself."

Smith final bowls hope

13 October 2010

World champion singles bowler Val Smith kept New Zealand’s bowls medal hopes alive today. Smith, who began her Commonwealth Games campaign poorly, has rebounded well and today beat Claire Johnston of Scotland 9-7, 6-5 to remain in contention. She will now face Australian Kelsey Cottrell in the semi-finals. Meanwhile Ali Forsyth, New Zealand’s men’s singles representative, was eliminated by Australian Leif Selby today. Forsyth needed one more victory to make the semi-finals. Forsyth said he was reasonably happy with how he had gone at the games.

Master with the Midas Touch

13 October 2010

Gordon Tietjens, rugby sevens coach extraordinaire, has seen it all during his decade-plus at the helm of the New Zealand team. He has coached successfully on stages as far apart as Dubai and Wellington, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. But Tietjens was leaping about like a schoolboy at the end of the thrilling Commonwealth Games final today. Make no mistake, this was a special victory.

King in two squash finals

13 October 2010

Joelle King was the New Zealand squash team’s special hero this evening The 21-year-old from Cambridge won back-to-back matches to help New Zealand through to the women’s doubles and mixed doubles finals. After her outstanding play in the singles, when she narrowly missed a place in the semi-finals, despite a seeding of only 12th, King was regarded as one of the form players in the New Zealand team. She has had to cope with a heavy workload in Delhi, never more so than today.

Silver Ferns into final

13 October 2010

New Zealand and Australia took different paths today to their final showdown in the Commonwealth Games netball tournament. The Silver Ferns looked the more impressive of the two favourites in the semi-finals, dealing comprehensively with Jamaica 59-43. By contrast, Australia were pushed all the way before edging ahead of England 51-45. New Zealand coach Ruth Aitken elected to start with the defensive pairing of Anna Scarlett and Casey Williams, perhaps hoping their height would negate the shooting prowess of rangy Jamaican kingpin Romelda Aiken.

Farquahar silver, Willis bronze

13 October 2010

Nick Willis lost his Commonwealth Games 1500m crown this evening when he finished third in a hard-fought final. Willis, New Zealand’s big-name middle-distance runner, won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and was one of the glamour figures of the Delhi track and field meet. However he has just emerged from an injury-hit season and wasn’t sharp enough to match Kenyans Silas Kiplagat and James Magut in the final straight today. The New Zealander ran well tactically, hugging the pole line, but Kiplagat was too strong in the closing stages.

Sevens team strikes gold again

13 October 2010

New Zealand staged a stirring second-half fightback today to win their fourth consecutive Commonwealth Games sevens rugby gold medal. The New Zealanders, having trailed Australia 10-7 at halftime, won 24-17 amid joyous scenes of jubilation from their supporters. The atmosphere at the sevens was relaxed and party-like and the New Zealand team responded with a good display of fast-paced sevens rugby.

NZ men lose hockey semi-final

12 October 2010

New Zealand bowed out of Commonwealth Games gold medal contention in the men’s hockey when they were beaten 6-2 by the world’s No 1 team Australia in the semi-finals today. Though Delhi turned on another hot, steamy day, the two teams played fast-moving, attractive hockey, but the Australians always appeared to have an edge. They launched a match-defining assault in a six-minute spell just before halftime, scoring three quick-fire goals that meant New Zealand was playing catch-up throughout the second spell.

The nature of top sport

12 October 2010

Joseph Romanos writes... I did feel sorry for Beatrice Faumuina today. Faumuina finished a disappointing fifth in the women’s discus. If she’d been near her best, she’d have won a medal and if she could rewind the clock a few years to when she was hurling the discus 65 metres, she’d have sauntered off with the gold medal.

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