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Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Westport will be bulging at the seams
by Saturday as 1700 runners and their
support crews converge for the 35th
Race director Dennis Straker said
entries were up on the past couple of
years but had not reached the heights of
the 25th and 30th marathons.
Entries to date include 200 in the full
marathon, 1040 in the half-marathon,
420 in the half-marathon walk, and
84 four-person teams will run the full
Most runners were from Canterbury,
with 830 registered so far.
e West Coast has 120 entries --- 87
from Greymouth and 19 from Hokitika
--- while Buller has 140, including 132
from Westport and 11 from Reefton.
A number of internationals from
Germany, Dubai, the United Kingdom,
America and Australia will also line up.
Straker said it was anyone's guess
who would take line honours in the full
" ere are no names in the registrations
in either the men's or women's sections
who stand out."
In the half-marathon, the 2016
winners of the men's and women's events
are both having another crack this year
--- Phil Costley from Nelson, who holds
the records for the half and full, and
West Coast police boss Mel Aitken, of
Straker said Aitken could have a bit
of competition this year with the entry
of Nelson woman Paula Canning, a
past winner of both the full and half-
"I expect it will be a good tussle
between the two women."
e women now outnumber the men
by about 420. " e only race where there
are more men than women was the full
marathon, and in the half and walk the
competitors are predominately women."
e growing number of women has
been a trend over recent years, he said.
Racing gets under way for everyone at
8.30am with a mass start.
Straker said he had given up worrying
about how the weather would treat them
on the day.
"When I looked at the forecast earlier
in the week it wasn't looking too good,
and the forecast this morning is for ne
weather, but I'm not looking any more
--- whatever happens, happens."
Meanwhile, he is keen to here from
anyone who can help out on Saturday by
manning water stations along the route
into the nish line at Victoria Square,
New Zealand's top squash player,
Greymouth-born Paul Coll's star
keeps rising, and he was this week
named as Squash Player magazine's
most improved male player of the
year for 2016.
e 24-year-old, who rose to
a career-high 16th in the world
rankings last month, rounded o a
stellar year by winning the $100,000
Channel VAS Championship in
England --- the biggest title of his
e citation read: "Surely most
observers will not deny Paul Coll,
the New Zealander based at
Amsterdam's Meer Club, victory in
"At one stage Coll seemed to
be best known for an endless
succession of You Tube virals for
his exuberant and athletic diving
on court, but he was propelled
further into the limelight when
he lifted the $100,000 Channel
VAS Championship in Surrey in
December as a quali er in front of
his great compatriot, Ross Norman."
Coll won the title by upsetting
established top 20 players, and
since reaching No 16 in the world
he has become the highest-ranked
New Zealand players since Ross
Norman's retirement more than 20
Aucklander Brando Yelavich,
who has styled himself on
outdoors survival man Bear
Grylls, has set his sights on his
toughest challenge yet competing
in the Kathmandu Coast to Coast
two-day multi-sport race.
Yelavich has had a busy couple
of months, getting his grade two
kayaking certi cate and learning
He will be up against
professional athletes like Braden
Currie, Courtney Atkinson and
Gemma McCaw, all of whom
will compete in the Longest Day
challenge, on Saturday.
Yelavich su ers from ADHD
and dyslexia and always struggled
with conventional learning, so he
set himself physical challenges
instead. When denied access
to the army, he decided that he
had something to prove and
so became the rst person to
circumnavigate the coastline of
the North and South Island by
He set o on February 1,
2013 with just a 50kg pack and
over 570 days he walked, swam,
climbed and rafted his way
around the country. At the end of
last year he decided to nish what
he had started and spent 30 days
hiking around Stewart Island.
e Coast to Coast will be his
most physical challenge yet.
"I've always set myself physical
challenges that have tested my
endurance, body and mind, but
competing in the Kathmandu
Coast to Coast will be unlike
anything I've done before,"
"I'm so used to exploring our
beautiful country on my own
and in my own time, so this race
makes for a bit of a change ---
from coast to coast in two days
and with nearly 800 others!
"I'm looking forward to the race,
but I'm also a little intimidated
Brando Yelavich training for the two-day Coast to Coast, which
starts on Friday.
COAST TO COAST
line up in
Ko confirms Gilchrist as new coach
Magazine names Coll as most improved player last year
Yelavich tackles Coast Wellington
Inspirational former All Whites
captain Steve Sumner has been
described as a giant of the sport in
Sumner died at the age of 61,
surrounded by family in Christchurch
this morning, 17 months after being
diagnosed with prostate cancer.
An attacking mid elder whose
career spanned 13 years, English-born
Sumner is best recognised as captain
of the famed New Zealand side who
made history by competing at the 1982
World Cup nals in Spain.
Sporting a bushy moustache, he was
the face of a memorable 15-game
qualifying run which captured the
Under coach John Adshead, he went
on to lead the All Whites in their
maiden nals appearance, scoring their
rst-ever tournament goal in the 5-2
loss to Scotland.
NZ Football chief executive Andy
Martin says Sumner is among the
most in uential footballers the country
"Steve was not only a great footballer,
he was also a great man and he will be
sorely missed," Martin said.
"What he and the All Whites team
from 1982 achieved in that FIFA
World Cup campaign put New
Zealand on the world football map
and his legacy will last forever."
After serving an apprenticeship
with Blackpool, Sumner made an
immediate impact when he came to
New Zealand in 1976, immediately
winning the national league title with
He went on to claim ve league
titles and a record six Chatham Cup
Sumner played 58 internationals and
scored 22 times, placing him third on
the all-time goal-scoring list.
His 105 total matches is a New
Six goals in the 13-0 rout of Fiji in
1981 remains an All Whites record.
He is among just 31 players, and
the only New Zealander, to have
received the FIFA Order of Merit, the
highest player honour awarded by the
international governing body.
Sumner played a role in the opening
of the 2010 World Cup in South
Africa, alongside late Dutch great
Johan Cruy .
Following his retirement in 1988,
Sumner held various roles and was a
regular commentator on the game.
Over the last year he became a
prominent voice in advocating for
men's health issues. --- NZN
Former All Whites
captain dead at 61
New clubs, new caddie and now a
World No 1 Lydia Ko is ready for
the 2017 season, after con rming
South African Gary Gilchrist as her
"When I talked to the other players
that were with Gary, they told me
he was very simple and wasn't very
mechanical," she says. " at was the
aspect I thought would be great.
"I tried a few lessons with him and
we ripped the swing apart. I think
that was really important and it's been
good to see the changes we've made.
I think if you looked at the swing, it
might not look so di erent, but to
me, it feels a little di erent. It kind of
cleared up my mind and that's very
important going forward."
Gilchrist curently coaches Ko's
nearest rivals in world No 2 Ariya
Jutanugarn and world No 4 Shanshan
Feng, but Ko does not consider that
will be a problem. "Just because we're
at that position in our rankings doesn't
mean ( Jutanugarn) hates me and I
hate her. She's one of the sweetest
players on tour." --- NZN
Pu o u o ,
o o o o o !
P J Y L 1 H Y 017. . . LL .
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