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While Novak Djokovic
celebrated his 2014
Wimbledon win over
arch rival Roger Federer,
a West Coast connection
was also celebrating the
experience of playing
at the world’s prestige
Although Rhett Purcell
was competing for Great
Britain at Wimbledon,
his Whataroa bloodline
created strong interest
on the Coast.
He is the son of former
South Westland school
teachers Mark and Tracy
Purcell, and grandson
of well-known former
Whataroa dairy farmers
Jim and Glenice Purcell.
Glenice Purcell, now
living in Hokitika, said it
was a proud moment for
her when he took to the
court, following his life’s goal.
“Both my late husband Jim and son
Mark were good tennis players. Mark
played for Whataroa in his younger
days before moving away with his
teaching career,” Mrs Purcell said.
“Rhett loved to come down to the
farm when he was growing up, but
as a youngster tennis was always his
Purcell is a former Hawke’s Bay age
group tennis representative, and as
Hereworth School Year 8 student he
joined the Sutton Tennis Academy in
Britain, in 2008.
He has played in Italy and France,
as well as seven international
age-group finals, winning five of
them, and at Wimbledon this
year competed in the under-18
Wimbledon tournament as Great
Britain’s No 1.
At the Queen’s Tournament held
before Wembledon, Purcell was a
hitter to the professionals including
Czech Republic pair of Tomas
Berdych and Radek Stepanek,
Australian Bernard Tonic and the
French pair of Jeremy Chardy and
“In 2006, as a young lad, he stated
his long-term goal was to be ranked
among the top 10 players in the
world,” Mrs Purcell said.
“He is strong-willed and very
dedicated. Rhett has a lovely nature
and I am very proud of him and his
achievements so far.”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Shot putter Valerie Adams has
been spending some extra time at
the gym in preparation for her role
as New Zealand ’s flag bearer for the
Commonwealth Games’ opening
Adams was this morning awarded
the honour at a team function inside
the majestic Kelvingrove Art Gallery
and Museum in Glasgow, following
in the footsteps of the likes of Sarah
Ulmer (2002), Hamish Carter
(2006) and Irene van Dyk (2010).
More than 300 athletes, coaches
and officials gathered for the
announcement, with Adams being
draped in a New Zealand flag by
chef de mission Rob Waddell.
The defending Commonwealth,
Olympic and World Champion will
now lead the New Zealand team into
Celtic Park at tomorrow ’s opening
ceremony — a role for which she
has put in a little extra preparation.
“I’m just going to try and enjoy the
moment as much as possible,” she
said. “But one thing’s for sure — I
worked out yesterday, I’m going to
work out tomorrow morning at the
gym and make sure I fly that flag
nice and high.
“I think the most important thing
is representing that silver fern with
pride. Black is such an amazing
colour. We look so smart and you
can spot us from a mile away, so it
will be great to see that sea of black
competitions heading into the
games, revealed she learned the
good news from Waddell through
a phone call some two months ago,
keeping the secret from everyone
but her sister, partner and manager.
“Just a couple of really close people,
who actually changed their flights
and bought tickets for tomorrow
“So I’m actually quite excited.”
“The Commonwealth Games is a
special event and it’s going to be so
exciting for myself and my team-
mates to be part of the opening,” she
“I’m very honoured and humbled
to be leading New Zealand in with
That pride, her impeccable record
and role as a leader within the New
Zealand team made Adams an
obvious choice as far as Waddell was
“ Valerie is arguably New Zealand ’s
greatest sportsperson and a true
inspiration, especially to young
people,” he said. “Not only is she
an outstanding athlete, she’s also
an outstanding New Zealander.
While competing at the highest
level, she works with young athletes
and spends considerable time with
children, encouraging them to
Along with her unbeaten streak,
Adams also has two Olympic gold
medals, two Commonwealth gold
medals and four successive world
titles to her name.
She is the hottest of favourites
in the shot put but, unflappable as
always, Adams sees that pressure as
merely a driving force to continue
“It’s been four years that I’ve been
unbeaten now and the pressure’s still
there but the motivation’s still there
to do well,” she said.
“I know that I am the hunted now
and people try to hunt me down and
“But until that day comes, I’m
going to enjoy it and I’m going to
bust a gut to make sure I stay on top
for as long as possible.”
Adams is the 10th track and field
athlete to be named flag bearer
with Glasgow hosting the 20th
Commonwealth Games. The last to
do so was discus thrower Robin Tait
at the 1982 Brisbane Games.
Adams NZs flagbearer
PICTURE: Getty Images
New Zealand flagbearer Valerie Adams at this morning’s function at
Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow.
of the Otago Daily Times
Otago fans would possibly
rather have been watching
the Highlanders prepare for
a Super rugby semi-final, but
they were given a brief glimpse
of top football last night.
The Football United tour
opened with a bit of a stroll
for English Premier League
club Newcastle, which beat
A-League club Sydney FC 4-0.
About 10,000 fans were on
hand at Forsyth Barr Stadium
to watch Newcastle — in grey,
not its famous black and white
strip — teach the Australians a
The extra pace, the silkier
touch and the calmer defending
were all on show as the English
club did its part to create some
buzz around the tour.
This was always going to be
more about the occasion than
the action on the pitch, but
Newcastle started a strong XI
and produced some wonderful
There was a feeling that it all
rather fizzled out, as both sides
made multiple changes in the
second half and Newcastle sat
on an imposing lead.
The goals — and the goodwill
— were in the bank well before
In the space of 14 first-half
minutes, Newcastle produced a
withering attacking period that
shattered Sydney ’s confidence
and put the result well beyond
The opening goal came
on 19 minutes following a
goalkeeping howler from
Sydney stopper Ivan Necevski.
On the edge of the box,
Necevski fluffed a clearance
that fell straight at the feet of
striker Emmanuel Riviere.
The Frenchman, on debut,
calmly fed Siem de Jong, whose
strike was clean and straight.
Yoan Gouffran was leading
the siege on Sydney ’s line and
he provided the assist for the
second goal just seven minutes
Finding space on the right,
Gouffran slid the ball along the
deck to Riviere for his first goal
in Newcastle colours.
The Australians still appeared
to be running on Sydney
time and could not cope with
Newcastle’s pace on the flanks.
Fullback Mapou Yanga-
Mbiwa came for ward to join
the fun, and he made it 3-0
with a powerful blast that
was deflected into the goal
from Sydney captain Sasa
Opportunities were scarce in
the second half until youngster
Adam Armstrong made it 4-0
in the 83rd minute.
Before the game, wreaths
were placed on the seats that
were to have been occupied by
Newcastle fans John Alder and
Liam Sweeney, killed in the
Malaysia Airlines crash.
Ben Sigmund has played 31 times
for the All Whites, gone to a World
Cup and helped the Wellington
Phoenix to one game shy of a grand
final, but he still rates tonight ’s pre-
season match with English Premier
League side West Ham United the
highlight of his career.
The 33-year-old centre back loves
the English Premier League. He
grew up watching it, he dreamed of
playing in it and tonight, he will get
the chance to test himself against
his favourite team in it.
Sigmund, was meant to spend the
night toiling against 1.93m striker
Andy Carroll, who was bought from
Liverpool for $30.47 million last
year, and earns more in two weeks
than any Phoenix player would earn
in a year, but this morning Carroll
was ruled out due to an ankle injury.
The former England international
will miss both games against the
Wellington Phoenix tonight at
Eden Park and against Sydney
FC on Saturday in Wellington
as a precautionary measure after
developing a sore left ankle during
training. After assessment by the
club’s medical experts, it was decided
to let the England international
rest for both remaining games
and receive intensive treatment to
ensure he is fit for the start of the
season, the West Ham website said.
It is a blow for both organisers
with the multimillionaire striker
being one of the star attractions
for the West Ham tour of New
Zealand. Fans who shelled out
up to $297 for a ticket might not
be too pleased either. Carroll has
played nine internationals for
England scoring two goals.
Sigmund said he welcomed the
physical challenge, after realising
just how big the size difference
between the two squads was when
they crossed paths at Eden Park
during an open training session
“Andrew D urante and I are
probably two of the biggest in our
team and we would be two of the
smallest in theirs,” Sigmund said.
“Coming from New Zealand, I
think we prefer to play the bigger,
stronger, physical players and that ’s
probably the part of my game that
is the strongest point so I’m looking
for ward to that battle. But they ’ve
got a couple of nippy little fellas in
the midfield too.”
Sigmund said he became a West
Ham fan after the club signed All
Whites captain Winston Reid and
was “ buzzing” about seeing, playing
and marking guys he watched week
in, week out on tv.
“ It’s probably too late for me, but
certainly as a young fella I dreamed
of playing in the Premier League
and this is as close as I’m going
to get. It ’s definitely my career
“ When a player is a lot taller than
you it’s probably about just giving
them a little nudge in the guts to
try to tip them off balance then
getting up over the top to win the
header,” Sigmund said.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick said
he would start with his strongest
available 11, which probably
means the first sighting of Spanish
midfielder Alejandro Gorrin, who
will partner Albert Riera in the
middle of the park after Vince Lia
was ruled out yesterday with injury.
Merrick said there were no further
developments with the ongoing
transfer saga involving All White
Michael McGlinchey and that the
Central Coast Mariners player was
still in limbo and would not feature
on the tour.
“ We’ve talked about West Ham
and how they are all big, strong lads
and a bit intimidating,” Merrick
“And we also talked about
wanting to play football, to
maintain a standard that we will
play to throughout the season and
not changing it for this one game.
We won’t just park the bus and
counter-attack, it’s about trying to
play good football and that means
midfield play. ”
Over 17,000 tickets have sold for
the match and the Phoenix have
said they will consider anything
over 20,000 a success.
Phoenix: Glen Moss, Manny
Muscat, Reece Caira, Michael
Boxall, Josh Brindell-South, Kenny
Cunningham, Alejandro Gorrin,
Nathan Burns, Jeremy Brockie,
Tyler Boyd, Albert Riera, Alex
Rufer, Jason Hicks, Louis Fenton,
Ben Sigmund, Andrew D urante,
Matthew Ridenton, Roy Krishna.
West Ham: Andy Carroll, Leo
Chambers, Carlton Cole, James
Collins, Guy Demel, Mohamed
Diame, Stewart Downing, Jussi
Matthew Jar vis,
Modibo Maiga, Ravel Morrison,
Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Joey
O’Brien, Winston Reid, Adrian,
Raphael Spiegel, James Tomkins,
Ricardo Vaz Te, Mauro Zarate,
Any sport would relish discovering a
new pathway by which athletes could be
drawn to it.
Take weightlifting, and the world of
New Zealand’s weightlifting team
in Glasgow has two who have opened
minds to the possibilities, Philippa Hale
and Bailey Rogers.
Hale is the partner of top New Zealand
lifter Richie Patterson, and an argument
could be made Hale would have found
her way to the sport anyway.
Rogers is different. She began cross
fit training in Dunedin a couple of
years ago, after being a fitness trainer.
Weightlifting is a big part of the multi
Rogers, now Christchurch based but
who still calls Blenheim home, was
persuaded to give the single sport a crack
and has not looked back.
That said, she will still swear crossfit
training is the best possible fitness
regime — she makes her living in it, as
“ I live, eat and breathe it,” she said.
“But with weightlifting, you do the
exact same movements but you get more
Rogers is convinced weightlifting will
become an increasingly popular spinoff
for crossfit athletes, who work in a
range of disciplines, gym work, running,
rowing, body weight work — “ kind of
everything put into one”.
Rogers describes crossfit as the perfect
fitness routine — “you’re talking to a
true believer,” she laughed.
That said, after a few classes with
the weights, Rogers admitted she got
“ I think it ’s a numbers thing,” she said
in fingering where the appeal lies.
“ You set a goal in your head. I want
to snatch this, c lean and jerk this. And
once you hit those numbers it ’s ‘ let ’s go a
little further’. You keep pushing yourself.
I love getting stronger and seeing those
numbers go up.”
New Zealand coach Adam Storey
is convinced of two things: Rogers’
promise and the benefits which could
come weightlifting’s way out of the
“ Bailey and Pip (Hale) are classic
examples where they had strong crossfit
backgrounds and made the transition
really well,” Storey said.
“ Every four years on tv when the
games, or the Olympics, are on, the
public think, ‘oh yeah, maybe I’ll give
that a go.
“ Now it ’s 24/7, always in people’s faces.
That opportunity has never existed in
the past, and we’re only getting stronger
because of that.”
As for Rogers, 23 and aiming for a top
six finish in the 75kg class in Glasgow,
Storey is hugely impressed.
“ I guess her progress has surprised me
a little bit but that goes down to her
sheer talent. It really comes down to her
being a phenomenal athlete — and she’s
got plenty more to come. ” — APNZ
of the NZ Herald
This is the time when Super Rugby
coaches and their men earn their money.
They have to bring their troops to the
required pitch for the play-offs, making
sure they have covered all the tactics
and preparation needed for a sudden-
death play-off without getting the
players too hyped.
It is a delicate balance which will
gnaw at inexperienced coaches and
players if they are not totally convinced
about their ideas.
The Crusaders have been through this
sudden-death scenario many times,
they know the drill, they have a fully
fit squad and will reintroduce Richie
McCaw on the blindside for Jordan
Taufua in the solitary starting change.
That history should get them through
any concerns about sitting out last
weekend ’s matches.
If anything they will convince each
other that strong training sessions
without a game will give them a cushion
of freshness for Saturday ’s match.
They are in their home city, going
through their normal routines and
playing on their home track.
All the changes have come for the
Sharks — leaving home, flying halfway
around the globe, then trying to get
their bodies and mental rhythms into
shape by kick-off.
It seems there may be more, too.
Coach Jake White is tempted to alter
the side which held on against the
Highlanders to win their quarter-final
31-27 last week in D urban.
He is focusing on his best halfback
and five-eighth combination.
Lock Anton Bresler is out with
damaged knee ligaments, but top
lineout man Stephan Lewies has
recovered from his injury.
It is the 9-10 pairing which has White
in a selection whirl. Does he go against
convention and change a winning side,
or does he deliver a pragmatic selection
that suits the huge challenge of the
The strongest clue that White will
reintroduce Patrick Lambie at five-
eighth came when he spoke about his
final quarter against the Highlanders
after being out of rugby for four months
with a torn bicep.
“I thought in the last 20 minutes we
played really well,” White said. “It was
some of our best rugby of the season
during that period, and some of our best
rugby in terms of linking our for wards
“As a whole, the bench definitely
helped us. There’s no doubt that when
we get Charl (McLeod) and Pat
(Lambie), two senior players, on to the
field that their experience tells under
White has to work out if he will need
that calmness late in the game if the
Sharks are trying to close out, whether
he swaps players and risks upsetting
that balance or will get more impact
if he uses Lambie and others from
If White does that he needs to know
there will still be enough impact when
he wants it from the bench.
The Sharks arrived in Christchurch
on Monday night confident they can
repeat their round-robin triumph
against the Crusaders.
Newcastle fullback Darius Boyd has
been granted indefinite leave from the
NRL to seek treatment for depression.
The Knights issued a statement today
to reveal the Australian and Queensland
State of Origin representative had been
admitted to a mental health clinic.
“ We are ensuring Darius gets the best
possible care and treatment at this time,”
chief executive Matt Gidley said.
The club said there was no timeframe
on Boyd’s return to football, with their
focus purely on his health.
“Depression is a serious illness in our
society and we are pleased Darius has
taken the first step in his recovery by
acknowledging he needs help,” Gidley
said. “Football is secondary at this point,
it is important Darius’ focus is entirely on
The news follows reports today that the
27-year-old trashed a luxury hotel room
in the Hunter Valley. — A AP
Hammers a highlight
PICTURE: Getty Images
Newcastle United’s manager Alan Pardew and Fabricio Coloccini carry wreaths to lay on two seats in
memory of Newcastle United supporters, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who lost their lives on Malaysian
Airlines flight MH17, during last night’s international friendly match against Sydney FC at Forsyth Barr
Stadium in Dunedin.
Sharks coach feels the heat
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa of Newcastle United climbs high
to win the ball during the international friendly match last
night against Sydney FC.
Athletes swear by crossfit
Boyd seeks help for depression
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