Olympics: Are any more NZ medals coming?

By Paul Harper

Women carry New Zealand's remaining medal hopes on their shoulders, with several decent chances left for Kiwis to win gold in London.

After Simon van Velthooven's bronze medal performance in the men's Keirin overnight, New Zealand sit on three gold, one silver and five bronze medals.

But who will add to New Zealand's medal haul?

Early tomorrow morning (NZT), sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will hit the water off Weymouth and Portland for the medal race in the men's 49er class, however the result won't have any bearing on their eventual placing. The boys have the silver medal locked in - as they are unable to catch the Aussie crew in first place, but are on enough points to keep the chasing pack at bay.

At 9.35pm tomorrow, kayaking duo Lisa Carrington and Erin Taylor compete for gold in the women's K2 500m final at Eton Dorney. The pair will be battling to claim a medal, coming fourth in their semi-final. They will need to be at their very best to beat the likes of world champion Austrian pair Yvonne Schuring and Viktoria Schwarz, or the German duo Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze, who have set the fastest time so far out of the finalists.

With three races remaining, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie sit first in the women's 470 class with 31 total points and a net total of 21.

The net figure is the total minus the crew's worst result. The British crew also have 31 points, with a net of 25, while the Dutch crew have 46 points and a net of 28. The final race is on Saturday morning.

Depending on how they go in their semi-final, the Women's Black Sticks will be either in the final or the bronze medal match on Saturday. If they girls can string together two more wins, they will become the first New Zealand hockey team to win gold at the Olympics since 1976 when the men's team beat Australia in the final in Montreal - New Zealand's sole Olympic hockey medal. But standing in their way is the Netherlands - ranked number one in the world - who they meet on Thursday morning in their semi-final.

Sarah Walker will be looking to erase the memory of a disappointing fourth place in the Beijing Olympics when she lines up at the gate for the Women's BMX. The 24-year-old former world champion is fully fit after she dislocated her shoulder at a meet in April, and will line up in the seeding run on Thursday morning. The semi-final and final are on Saturday morning. Less favoured to win medals are Kurt Pickard and Marc Willers in the men's event, which also kicks off on Thursday morning.

Lisa Carrington is back on the water on Saturday, competing in the K1 200m. The 23-year-old has a good chance of winning gold, winning the event at the World Championships in Szeged, Hungary last year. The heats and semi-finals are on Friday night, with the final the following night.

If New Zealand's remaining competing athletes can add to our gold haul, London 2012 will become arguably our second most successful Olympics, behind Los Angeles 1984, when Kiwi athletes brought home eight gold medals.

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