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New Zealand’s track cycling team
has been crowned the overall round
winner after securing nine medals
at the World Cup in Los Angeles.
The New Zealanders won four
medals on the final day yesterday,
including their lone gold to the
world champion men’s sprint team
comprising Ethan Mitchell, Sam
Webster and Eddie Dawkins.
In their first World Cup outing
of the year, the trio clocked 43.710
seconds to Germany ’s 43.974. They
had earlier recorded the fastest
qualifying time, their 43.620
seconds beating Germany by 0.3sec
to top the second round.
Three silvers and five bronze
gave New Zealand their biggest
World Cup medal haul in a highly
promising display six weeks out
from the world championships in
Webster reckons the sprint team
have more to give after pipping
Germany in a tense final.
New Zealand lost ground to the
Germans on the second lap, led by
Webster, who was tired following a
hectic three days.
As well as three rounds of team
racing, he had clinched a bronze
medal in the individual sprint as
well as contesting multiple stages
of the keirin.
“The other two boys really
stepped up as I was in a really big
state of fatigue,” Webster said. “ It is
a hugely motivating thing to see the
people around you stepping up and
making massive gains. I’ve great
guys around me. We all buy into the
vision and when one person steps
up it urges everyone else to find the
best within them.”
The Olympic silver medal-
winning sprint trio will now
concentrate on building up to
defend their title at the world
championships in Hong Kong in
Webster had earlier finished 10th
in the keirin, doing well to avoid
getting tangled up in a crash which
wiped out Korea’s Chaebin Im and
Kwesi Browne (Trinidad).
In the women’s madison, Racquel
Sheath and Michaela Drummond
launched an audacious late run to
win the double-points final sprint
and secure silver overall behind
Amy Cure and Alex Manly took
gold on 20 points, with the New
Zealanders second just one point
New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart
and Thomas Sexton came close to
gold in the men’s madison after
leading going into the final sprint.
However, Irish pair Felix English
and Mark Downey put a lap on the
field to secure double bonus points
and steal the win with 57 points,
while Denmark’s Julius Johansen
and Casper Pedersen took silver
with 45 to the New Zealanders’ 44.
Waikato’s Jaime Nielsen finished
third in the women’s 3000m
individual pursuit, clocking 3min
34.056sec to edge Poland’s Justyna
Kaczkowskna for bronze.
The four medals add to the five
New Zealand had earlier claimed
in Los Angeles, including a silver
in the women’s team pursuit.
Rushlee Buchanan, Drummond,
Nielsen and Sheath comfortably
beat Canada to set up a final
against Olympic silver medallists
the United States.
The New Zealand quartet were
three seconds quicker in the final,
clocking 4min 24.619sec but that
was more than 4sec slower than
the outstanding host combination,
which snatched the early lead and
gradually pulled clear over the
Campbell Stewart also bagged a
silver in the omnium while there
were bronze medals to Webster in
the individual men’s sprint, Natasha
Hansen in the keirin and Tom
Sexton in the scratch race.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
New swimming lanes get thumbs up
Greymouth Swimming Club members Emil Fischer, left, Rhea Wallace and Callum Brown give the thumbs up to the new lane
ropes purchased by the club, with funding donated from the Lion Foundation and Crawford Refrigeration. The ropes are coloured
specifically for swim meets, and will be used at the Buller-West Coast Championships on March 18.
Warriors five-eighth Kieran Foran has
denied reports that is a eyeing a move to
Brisbane for the 2018 NRL season.
The Kiwis international is yet to play
his first game for the Warriors however
Australian media are reporting his
management team have contacted the
Brisbane Broncos several times to offer
his ser vices for 2018.
Foran’s godfather and Auckland-based
solicitor Don MacKinnon says the
26-year-old denies the reports are true.
MacKinnon said Foran is focused on
the season ahead with the Auckland-
“He has not spoken to a single club
about 2018. His priority is entirely
on getting ready for the Warriors in
2017 and having a successful year,” he
“ It is simply far too soon for him to
remotely focus on next season.”
Foran split with his management team
of George Mimis and Paul Sutton last
year and has not signed on with a new
Foran quit Parramatta midway
through 2016, less than a year into a
four-season deal, before checking into
Auckland-born Foran, who is on a
one-year contract in New Zealand, has
been cleared by the NRL to make his
comeback for the Warriors in round
three. — New Zealand Herald
of the Westport News
The West Coast ’s chief cop
Mel Aitken says she is still on a
high after taking first place in the
women’s section of the Old Ghost
Road Ultra race, on Saturday.
Aitken was the seventh runner
home overall in the 85km run
with a time of 8:24:09.
She beat last year’s co-winner
Ruby Muir into second place in
the women’s section. Muir’s time
of 9:07:35 put her 13th overall.
The overall winner was
American Matt Flaherty with a
time of 6:52:45. Christchurch’s
Vajin Armstrong was exactly four
minutes behind in 6.56:45.
Aitken said she had never run
such a distance before.
“The irony is I’ve done no hill
road, no off-road work. It’s all
been on-road speed work —
nothing that you would expect to
put in to run that distance over
The key to her win was sticking
to the plan she had developed
with her coach and not going out
too hard, Aitken said.
She was full of praise for the
event and the trail.
“The support of the people, the
volunteers, the organisers — it
just blew me away.
“The track itself and the work
that ’s been done is magic.”
There was great camaraderie
among the trail running
“ Everyone is out there to
support you, no egos — it’s just
about people cheering each other
Her celebration was “a nice
bath” on Saturday night, Aitken
She was out running again on
Sunday as she is on a 365km
challenge which means she runs
every day regardless of races.
Aitken is currently aiming for
the Christchurch full marathon
in June then the Gold Coast
marathon in July.
She would definitely be back to
defend her OGR title next year,
Men’s winner Flaherty, a
running coach and ultrarunner,
said the race was top notch and
among his favourite races.
Trust chairman Phil Rossiter
said just two of the 139 who
started at 6am on Saturday, did
The last competitor, Brent
Oldham, crossed at 15:14:12.
Oldham fell around 11km from
the end of the race, aggravating
a finger injury incurred during
training, so walked the final
He was one of seven Westport
locals who took part.
Other Coast competitors
included West Coast Regional
Council engineer Paulette
Birchfield who took fifth place in
the veteran women’s section in a
time of 11:40:32.
Inspector cleans up
PICTURE: Charles Bruning
Mel Aitken crosses the Old Ghost Road Ultra race finish line.
Olga Korbut, the first world
superstar of gymnastics, has
sold her Olympic medals with
conflicting reports on why she
called in the auctioneers.
Korbut, aged 61, was the darling
of the 1972 Olympic Games,
when the tiny Soviet gymnast
charmed a world audience as
she won three golds and a silver.
Korbut won a further gold and
silver at the Montreal Olympics
four years later.
Korbut, who lives in Arizona,
said: “ This is Olympic history,
and I would like to share with
the whole world. They helped to
make it history and make it live
forever. This is how I wanted to
share with the people.”
Korbut ’s 1972 balance beam
gold was reportedly stolen from
a Moscow museum but the other
five medals were among items
which fetched about $330,000 in
NBC described Korbut as
“(springing) onto the Olympic
scene like a bottle rocket, a
4-foot-11 (1.49m) pigtailed waif
who turned gymnastics on its
reported Korbut had financial
difficulties. “Medals saved Korbut
from hunger,” a headline claimed.
Heritage Auctions said there
was “hardly a gymnast alive who
doesn’t credit this tiny force of
nature for the explosion of the
sport ’s popularity on a global
The trophies sold included the
1972 BBC sports personality of
the year award, various Soviet
medals and a signed magazine
cover. — New Zealand Herald
Hamilton’s team Purao
is currently in 11th spot
in the gruelling week-
long Godzone Adventure
Race, which began in
Queenstown on Saturday.
Hamilton is competing
in his third Godzone
event, now in its sixth
year. He is in a team
with Neil Jones, Gordon
Townsend and Rachel
Cashin, with an average
age of 50.
The Hokitika plumber
said before the start that
his goal this time was to
finish in the top 10.
The event takes around
156 hours and includes
450km of running,
biking, kayaking, ropes
The leading teams
were expected to begin
crossing the finish line
at Frankton Beach about
lunchtime today. Others
are unlikely to finish until
Warriors’ Foran denies link to Broncos
Ethan Mitchell, Eddie Dawkins and Sam Webster
11th in Godzone
Olympic gymnastics superstar sells medals
Millionaire club owner Mourad
Boudjellal says cocaine use is a blight
on French rugby following the arrest
of former test players Ali Williams
and James O’Connor.
Former All Blacks lock Williams
was charged with purchasing a
relatively small amount of cocaine
for about $NZ250 outside a Paris
nightclub over the weekend.
French media is at odds on the
status of former Wallaby O’Connor.
Initial reports said the 26-year-old
was charged with using the drug after
returning a positive test result.
However, other reports says he
was spared a charge and given an
undisclosed fine for “intent ” to
consume as he did not physically
handle any drugs.
A French media report today said
Williams had made a plea bargain
with French authorities and will
appear in court later this week.
Another report, also unconfirmed,
said Williams and O’Connor spent a
40-hour stint in three different cells
following their arrests.
Other reports say the French Rugby
Federation has begun a process to
ban Williams from playing in France,
where he has been based since ending
a 77-test career in 2012.
His French champion club Racing
92 has already suspended the
35-year-old while the judicial process
Before shifting to Paris, Williams
played three seasons for Toulon,
helping them become European
The Top 14 club is home to
26-year-old O’Connor and is owned
by Boudjellal, who has opened his
chequebook to recruit numerous big
names in recent years.
Boudjellal laments what he believe
is an escalation of cocaine use by
“It’s only my opinion, but I have
the impression that in certain clubs
and among many players, coke is very
popular,” Boudjellal told AFP.
“ We’ve had the alcohol stage, now
we’re at another one. We can’t support
that. That needs to stop.”
Meanwhile, a Toulon contract
extension for O’Connor is off the
table, Boudjellal told Le Figaro
“He has reopened the debate about
his contract extension. We are not
going to renew it,” Boudjellal said.
“ We are going to try and manage
this season. But I don’t want to
over whelm him.”
Boudjellal said a suspension also
awaits 44-test veteran O’Connor,
whose career has been marred by
A fleeting taste of international
sport is coming to Rangiora when
New Zealand host the United
States in two women’s hockey tests.
New Zealand hockey is
promoting the series on March
Zealand team in any sport has
played an international match in
The newly opened Waimakariri
Hockey Stadium will host the
world No 6 US side and the
fifth-ranked Black Sticks as both
teams prepare for the four-nation
Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey
starting a week later. The new turf is
the same water-based surface used
at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
New Zealand are coming off a 3-1
series loss to Argentina in Buenos
Aires earlier this month.
A B de Villiers believes
he has developed the
that made Brendon
McCullum a great leader
for New Zealand.
With his team on
the verge of clinching
the five-match series
against the Black Caps,
de Villiers says it is his
captaincy, rather than
his brilliant batting,
which is giving him most
regarded by many as
the world’s greatest
ever ODI batsman,
has played important
knocks in often-trying
conditions to help his
team to a 2-1 series lead.
He has been dismissed
twice in scoring 167 off
The runs are secondary
to de Villiers, who wants
his team to wrap up
the series with a game
to spare in Hamilton
“I just love to
contribute and to see the
joy in my team-mates’
faces after I’ve done
something good,” he
“I’m enjoying it
now more than ever.
understanding of the
game, a good gut feel
of what ’s coming and
what ’s going to happen.
A guy like McCullum
does that really well,
he sees what ’s going to
happen in 10 overs’ time.
That ’s important for a
Unlike retired skipper
McCullum, who took
unbridled confidence to
the crease, de Villiers
says he is nervous every
time he goes out to bat
for his country.
Having made himself
unavailable for the test
series in March, he will
place pressure on himself
to finish his tour on a
high this week.
“There’s always doubts
when you walk out, no
matter what your record
is. That ’s pretty normal,
pretty human,” he said.
“O bviously over the
years I’ve learned how
to counter that, how to
get over that obstacle. It
comes through learning
from your mistakes and
a deep, deep hunger to
New Zealand captain
Kane Williamson is an
unabashed admirer of his
He shares a good
relationship with the
affable de Villiers off
the field but senses his
determination on it.
“He always plays for
the right reasons, to win
games of cricket for his
country as opposed to
playing for his own stats.
“ When you play people
like that, and there’s not
many in the world who
have the skill and the
attitude, then they ’re a
big threat.” — NZN
Bohemians 1905 hosted Slovacko in the
Czech First League yesterday, and in playing
terms, the match was a relatively drab affair
between two mid-table sides.
It ended 0-0, but the biggest story of the
match was not a passage of play, it was a
heroic life-saving act in the first half.
Goalkeeper Martin Berkovec collided with
his own defender Daniel Krch, with both men
immediately going down injured. Berkovec
in particular looked to be in trouble, and
the referee and his team-mates frantically
signalled for medical attention immediately.
Slovacko striker Francis Kone took direct
action though, leaning over the goalkeeper
and pulling the unconscious player’s
tongue out of his mouth to keep him from
The inter vention saved Berkovec’s life.
The craziest part? According to the hero
himself, this is not the first time Kone’s saved
a life on the pitch.
“It has been four times,” Kone said. “Once
in Thailand and twice in Africa. I’m always
checking the players, to make sure they have
not swallowed their tongue.”
Following Kone’s successful inter vention,
Berkovec under went a CT scan at the hospital
and spent the night under obser vation. He is
expected to make a full recovery.
Kone has been roundly praised in the Czech
Republic for his action, and the man whose
life he saved took to Facebook to express his
“I would like to thank Francis Kone for
rescue and emergency at today ’s game,” the
goalkeeper said. “I’m glad for the relief and
thanks again!!!” — news .com .au
Player’s quick thinking saves goalkeeper’s life
Rangiora to host women’s hockey tests
Ali Williams charged with
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