Pint-sized Cheong makes history on drab day

By Cathy Walshe

BEIJING - Wet weather put the brakes on New Zealand's BMX medal hopefuls but it didn't stop a victorious Auckland teenager raining blows on her Olympic taekwondo opponent this morning.

Robin Cheong made history when she won her opening contest in the women's 57kg class, the first time a New Zealander has tasted any success in the ancient martial art at the Games.

It went to the wire, too, with Korean-born Cheong taken to a tiebreaking sudden death fourth round before accounting for Miriam Bah, of the Ivory Coast, with a decisive point from an offensive kick.

Cheong said nerves accounted for the low-scoring nature of the bout but vowed to be more aggressive.

"Now I've gained my confidence, I'm warmed up, so hopefully I'll do better in the next game, which is bit tougher than this one," she said.

She was to meet Korea's world No 1 Sujeong Lim in the quarterfinals later today.

Despite a tirade of screams, New Zealand's other taekwondo exponent Logan Campbell lost his first contest today.

Campbell was the aggressor against world No 1 Yu-Chi Sung but the judges gave the Taiwanese fighter marks for his better-timed kicks and the contest ended 4-0.

Campbell could yet fight a repechage, depending on other results today.

Meanwhile, the Laoshan Moto Cross venue was under cover today courtesy of the rain, with BMX racing postponed until tomorrow.

Highly-rated New Zealanders Sarah Walker and Marc Willers progressed smoothly into the semifinals yesterday but now must wait for a competition that could be reduced in size if the rain persists.

The weather delayed Stuart Farquhar's javelin qualifying competition by an hour and the Hamiltonian didn't respond well, managing a best distance of 76.14m on the first of his three throws.

It was more than 7m below his personal best set recently.

While a wet surface hampered the standard, two-time Olympian Farquhar was clearly annoyed with his own form as he placed 20th, 3.71m and eight places outside the top-12 finalists.

The men's hockey team ended their disappointing campaign with a morale-boosting 4-2 defeat of Pakistan that saw them finish seventh.

Hayden Shaw scored twice from penalty corners as the Black Sticks discovered some late form.

Simon Child and Gareth Brooks also converted for the Black Sticks, who led 3-0 with 25 minutes remaining.

The result was of little consolation for Shaw, who scored six goals at the tournament.

"We're just disappointed where we ended up, in seventh. We feel we're a much better side than that," he said.

"We just let ourselves down a couple of times."

Coach Shane McLeod made a play for hockey's funding not to drop as it was essential if they were to progress internationally.

- NZPA

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 23 Aug 2014 06:12:26 Processing Time: 1263ms