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Friday, December 13, 2013
A Greymouth powerlifter and two
former West Coast competitors won
medals at the Commonwealth and
Oceania powerlifting championships,
held in Auckland last week.
Matthew Blanchfield competed in
the under-83kg unequipped sub-junior
section, returning home with a bronze
In his event he squatted 160kg, a
personal best, bench pressed 97.5kg
and dead-lifted 185kg, both personal
bests for a total of 442.4kg which won
Andrew omas, formerly of the
West Coast, won gold in the 74kg
junior equipped section and Matt
Gardyne bagged a silver with a 255kg
squat and gold medals in the bench
press and the dead lift.
Competitors from Australia,
England, Canada, Samoa, South
Africa, Nauru and New Zealand took
Greymouth powerlifter Matthew Blanchfield at the recent Commonwealth and Oceania powerlifting championships,
Blanchfield wins bronze
Commonwealth and Oceana Champs
Shot Putter Tom Walsh has
done it again. e Timaru builder
took another huge stride on the
international track and field stage
yesterday, winning the shot put at
the prestigious Zatopek Classic in
Melbourne with another NZ record
throw of 20.61m.
e big throw came in the second
round of the competition at the
famous Melbourne meeting in
Melbourne last night. It is also
further than the Commonwealth
Games A standard of 20.60 and
well over the qualifying distance
of 20.30 for the World Indoor
championships in Poland in March.
Walsh, who broke Jacko Gill s
previous national record of 20.38
with a throw of 20.45m at a low key
meet in nearby Geelong on Saturday,
was ecstatic to have taken the record
to another level on a bigger stage.
" e Zatopek Classic is a big deal,
so to have stepped up and delivered
in front of a good crowd is a real
buzz" Walsh said last night.
Damien Birkinhead of Australia
was second, with Robert Melin of
Sweden in third.
is throw, particularly in such
a high profile competition, has
propelled Walsh to a ranking of
22nd in the world and fifth in the
Commonwealth for 2013, and his
throw in Melbourne would have
placed him 10th at the London
Olympics and 7th in the 2013
World Championships in Moscow.
Walsh arrives back in New
Zealand today, where he will return
to some solid training
and local competition,
his work as a builder
and a bit of family
time over Christmas,
before looking ahead
competitions next year.
In other events at
the Zatopek meeting
Aaron Pulford ran
29:07.33 for ninth
place in the feature
championships race, improving his
personal best by seven seconds, set
when he finished 5th at the world
junior championships in 2010.
Young distance runners Matt
Baxter (3rd 8:14.73), Ben Moynihan
(4th 8:14.91) and Jacob Priddey (7th
8:24.37) all set personal best times.
Zara Macdermid finished fourth
in the women s 1500m recording
4:27.09 and Mariah Ririnui also
finished fourth in the women s 100
yards in 11.23. --- NZ Herald
While his team-mates attempt to
breathe new life into their season
tonight, Alex Pledger would be
content to merely breathe without
discomfort during the showdown
e Breakers big man has suffered
respiratory problems for the past
few weeks, a residual effect of the
fall he took late in the last-second
loss against Adelaide in November.
But, after regular treatment,
Pledger has been on the improve
and thinks he is close to resembling
his old self, a prospect which cannot
come soon enough for the stuttering
"I ve had a bit of a rough time
since that fall against Adelaide,"
the centre said. "It caused a little
wrench to the cartilage between
the sternum and ribs, so there was
quite a bit of discomfort. After a
little while going, it just gets a little
tight and (my breathing) gets a little
restricted. But it s loosening up
pretty well and I ve felt a lot better
in practice this week than I have the
last couple of weeks. So hopefully
that s a good sign for tonight."
e Breakers will certainly hope
so, needing all the help they can get
against a side almost out of sight
on the Australian NBL ladder.
After stringing together a couple
of victories towards the end of
November, the Kiwi club endured a
luckless two-game road-trip to slip
to 4-8 on the season.
Not helping their cause has been
the form of Pledger, whose numbers
have been down in reduced minutes
since he tumbled to the floor against
the 36ers. Pledger was reluctant to
blame the injury for his decreased
output, but there is no doubting the
impact his type of ailment makes on
a big man constantly required to run
"I don t want to go on about it
too much but it s been a little bit
restricting. But I think it s just a case
of some shots not dropping. I ve
been getting some good looks in the
post and they ve just been bouncing
out or spinning around the circle a
million times and not falling.
"So it s just a combination of not
feeling 100% and just the shots not
falling at the moment."
Tonight at Vector Arena would
be a good time to buck that trend.
With a two-week break before
the next game, Christmas dinner
will have something of a sour taste
should another defeat be added to
an already-worrying tally.
On face value,Perth are unwelcome
guests on the verge of the holiday
season, with a league-leading
11-1 record and two victories ---
including last week s four-point win
--- against the Breakers this season.
But only a miracle shot from James
Ennis separated the sides a week
ago in Perth, while the Breakers also
ran the frontrunners close earlier in
Both meetings tell the story of
the Breakers season. ere is no
denying the champs are better
than their record but it is equally
clear that moral victories count for
nothing in the standings.
"I know it sounds like we keep
saying this game after game, but
one or two wins can move you
from sixth spot right back into the
top four," Pledger said. "We re not
too far away, but it s getting to that
time in the season when you ve got
to start converting those close ones
into wins." --- APNZ
Black Caps bowler Trent
Boult ripped through the
West Indies batting order
early on day three of the
second test at the Basin
Reserve as the tourists were
bowled out for 193.
Still 248 runs behind
New Zealand s first innings
total, Brendon McCullum
enforced the follow-on and
sent the West Indies out to
With the tourists beginning
the day at 158 four they lost
six wickets for just 18 runs
with Boult taking five of
e left-armer took five
wickets in 15 balls as the
West Indies slumped from
175 for four to 193 all out.
rough 15 overs Boult
finished with 6-40, his
second six-wicket bag of the
year and his career.
New Zealand was 38
without loss in their second
innings trailing 210 at
--- New Zealand Herald
NZ shot put record
New Zealand shot putter Tom Walsh has
broken the NZ record twice in the last week.
Boult takes six, Windies all out
Pledger hoping to resuscitate season
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