Bay contestants off to roaring start at Rio

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Peter Burling and Blair Tuke lead the New Zealand contestants competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games.
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke lead the New Zealand contestants competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics Games.

Bay athletes have got off to a roaring start as the 2016 Rio Olympics kicked off over the weekend.

Tauranga man Peter Burling, with sailing partner Blair Tuke, carried the New Zealand flag in front of the kiwi contestants during the opening ceremony of the games.

Tauranga born Ella Nicholas carried the Cook Islands flag during the ceremony. She will represent the island nation in the women's kayak single starting on August 9.

The opening ceremony kicked off at 10.30am New Zealand time and the Bay's first contestant Mahe Drysdale got into his first rowing race eleven hours later.

Drysdale placed first for the men's single scull heats with a time of a time of 7.04.45 which qualified him for the quarter-final to be raced on August 9 at 11.30pm (NZT).

Zoe Stevenson and partner Eve Macfarlane placed first in the first heat of the women's double rowing sculls with a time of 7.14.31. They are placed second overall after Lithuania.

The women's semifinals will be raced on Wednesday at 1.10am (NZT).

The New Zealand women's sevens rugby team also made a flying start to the
Rugby sevens competition in their first pool game beating Kenya, 52-0.

Tauranga's Kelly Brazier kicked one of two conversions for the game.

The New Zealand side also took out Spain 31 to 5 and were due to play France last night at the Deodoro Stadium, Rio de Janiero.

The Australian waterpolo team, featuring Tauranga's Joe Kayes, competed against Brazil on Saturday and lost 8 - 7.

Mahe Drysdale, of New Zealand, waves after competing in the men's single scull heat during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AP Photo/Andre Penner
Mahe Drysdale, of New Zealand, waves after competing in the men's single scull heat during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AP Photo/Andre Penner

Tomorrow Bay athletes will compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics:

Women's Hockey 1.00am featuring Gemma Flynn.
Women's Rugby Sevens 2.30am featuring Kelly Brazier.
Men's canoe slalom at 4.20am featuring Mike Dawson.
Tauranga born Bryden Nicholas will also represent Cook Islands in the mens' canoe slalom at 4.20am.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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