Olympics: While You Were Sleeping - Day 14

By Dylan Cleaver

Jo Aleh, left, and Olivia Powrie and their dinghy are carried ashore by members of the New Zealand sailing team after winning gold medal women's 470. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Jo Aleh, left, and Olivia Powrie and their dinghy are carried ashore by members of the New Zealand sailing team after winning gold medal women's 470. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A quick bite of the best of the action from day 14 at the London 2012 Olympics.

There you are, good morning. You've only gone and missed a couple of things.

Gold on the water!
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie wiped the ocean floor with the Brits in their 470s medal-race decider, not only finishing ahead of Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke, but winning the race itself. It's the first gold medal for New Zealand in a boat with a rudder since 1984, when Russell Coutts won the Finns (earlier that regatta, Rex Sellers and Christopher Timms won the Tornados). Coutts hasn't done an awful lot since. That was New Zealand's fourth gold of the Games; the most they've won since the boycott Games of LA 1984.

Before the women raced, Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders limped home at 14th in their 470 medal race. They finished 5th overall, 23 points out of the medals.

Silver at the track!
Kawerau's finest, Sarah Walker, won New Zealand's first BMX medal and BikeNZ's third medal of these Games with a sensational ride from a tricky gate in the one-off final. The portents were not good early. Walker rode a poor first race in the best-of-three semifinals, finishing 5th from the advantageous gate one. She steadily improved, finishing fourth in the second race and third in the third, securing gate six in the final. She got a terrific start, held her nerve into first corner and only finished behind the flying Mariana Pajon of Colombia.

Another gold to come?
Lisa Carrington looks like the best chance of New Zealand's remaining athletes competing in London to add a fifth gold to the tally. The world champion paddler qualified with the fastest time in the K1 200m by winning her semifinal in 40.528 seconds.

Medal watch
That's 12 medals so far then, with the prospect of two more. Stuart Farquhar throws in the javelin tomorrow morning.

There was a hard-luck story as well. Marc Willers, so impressive in yesterday's quarter-finals, was sitting comfortably in 2nd during his first semifinal when he misjudged a section and crashed heavily. He tried to race the second semifinal but was too banged up and trailed home last. A sad end to a promising meeting.

Black Sticks fall
As feared, the heart-wrenching semifinal shootout loss to the Netherlands seemed to have a hangover in the bronze medal match, with the Black Sticks succumbing to Great Britain 1-3. A difficult end to what had been a ground-breaking tournament.

Vaughn Scott became the third New Zealander to bow out in the first round of the taekwondo, this time in the under-80kg class.

- NZ Herald

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