Still hope for Bay athletes after poor day in Rio

By Peter White

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Mike Dawson of New Zealand competes during the kayak K1 men's semifinal of the Canoe Slalom at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Mike Dawson of New Zealand competes during the kayak K1 men's semifinal of the Canoe Slalom at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The Rio rain and soggy conditions mirrored the mood in the New Zealand camp yesterday after another quiet day without a medal to celebrate.

New Zealand's loss to Fiji in the men's sevens quarter final was the major talking point with the Bay of Plenty contingent of Scott Curry, Regan Ware, Joe Webber and coach Sir Gordon Tietjens destined to return home without a medal.

Mike Dawson also missed winning a medal but the 29-year-old from Tauranga can be pleased with his performance in finishing 10th in the K1 canoe slalom final held on the challenging man-made rapids.

It is five places better than his finish at the 2012 London Olympics.

His time of 93.07s was well behind winner Joseph Clarke from Britain (88.53s) and slower than the times he set in his semi-final (91.47s) and heat (88.91).

"I knew it [the final] was going well for the first couple of splits but I caught a bit of water and it started to slip away," Dawson said.

"It's not often that there are no 15 second penalties with guys trying to cut lines around the poles and missing gates. You've got to read the flow of water and stay on top so you don't end up swimming.

"It showed the quality of the athletes racing."

The Black Sticks women's hockey team featuring the Tauranga trio of Rose Keddell, Sam Charlton and Gemma Flynn beat Spain 2-1 in a fine performance to keep alive their quarter final hopes.

The Black Sticks have had two wins and a loss with pool play matches to play against world number one The Netherlands and China.

Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club members Sam Meech and Jason Saunders were also in action on the turbulent waters in Rio yesterday.

Meech finished 14th and 15th in the solo Laser class in his preliminary races to drop back to 17th place after six completed runs after a promising start on the first two days of competition.

Saunders and team mate Gemma Jones are 15th in the mixed Nacra 17 class ahead of four races held early this morning that will impact greatly on the overall standings.


Catch the action
Bay competitors up Friday
Sailing: Jason Saunders in four mixed Nacra 17 races at 4.05am, 5.05am, 6.05am and 7.05am.
Canoe Slalom: Luuka Jones in the semi-final of the women's kayak (K1) at 4.15am. Final at 6am.
Bay competitors up on Saturday
Rowing: Mahe Drysdale single sculls semi-finals 1am.
Golf: Rotorua's Danny Lee 10.30pm.
Women's Hockey: v Netherlands featuring Sam Charlton, Rose Keddell and Gemma Flynn at 2am.
Sailing: Peter Burling 4.05am and 5.05am; Sam Meech 4.15am and 5.40am; Molly Meech 4.05am and 5.05am.
Marathon swimming: 12am Rotorua's Kane Radford.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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