Andrew Alderson

Andrew Alderson is a sport writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Olympics: New Zealand team report card

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray celebrate after winning gold in the final of the men's pair. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Hamish Bond and Eric Murray celebrate after winning gold in the final of the men's pair. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The debate will soon ignite over where to splash high performance cash in the wake of the London Olympics.

Andrew Alderson looks at the efforts of the incumbent targeted sports and three contenders competing for taxpayer investment with swimming, triathlon most obviously under pressure.

TOP SIX TARGETED SPORTS

ROWING
Best success: Men's pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond remained unbeaten through a complete Olympic cycle. Rare and emphatic.
Worst disappointment: Women's quadruple sculls caught a crab and split an oar blade in repechage as they headed towards a final.
Expectations: Five to six medals but perhaps only two gold.
Reality: Three gold and two bronze. New Zealand's greatest cumulative medal haul for a sport at a Games. Second only to canoeing 1984 (four gold).
HP investment this cycle: $19.2 million (22 per cent of $87. 8 million high performance investment budget)
2016 prospects: Comprehensive development programme in place from Maadi Cup to under-23 level. Expect a new generation of Olympics heroes.
Overall: 9/10

CYCLING
Best success: Simon van Velthooven edged through for a dead heat bronze, centimetres away from Sir Chris Hoy.
Worst disappointment: Women's team pursuit promised much but slipped through the field.
Expectations: Four bronze with speculation Linda Villumsen (time trial) and Shane Archbold (omnium) might also step onto the dais.
Reality: One silver and two bronze; still a fine return considering New Zealand only had one bronze medal in the sport before 2004.
HP investment this cycle: $18.3 million (21 per cent)
2016 prospects: Fine high performance programme established including a sprint module developed from scratch. Needs perseverance, especially with new Waikato velodrome.

Overall: 7/10

TRIATHLON
Best success: Andrea Hewitt, sixth in the women's event.
Worst disappointment: Andrea Hewitt was ranked world No 1 but struggled on flat course.
Expectations: One medal to Hewitt with Docherty having surprise potential.
Reality: No medals. First miss since triathlon's Olympic debut in 2000.
HP investment this cycle: $6.9 million (8 per cent)
2016 prospects: Ryan Sissons (24) in the men's programme but none of the top four women are under 29.
Overall: 4/10
SAILING
Best success: Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, the country's first women Olympic sailing gold medalists in a boat (Barbara Kendall got one on a board).
Worst disappointment: Limited media coverage. Athletes need to front more win/lose or draw during the fleet racing to justify taxpayer investment.
Expectations: Three crews ranked in the top three at their most recent world championships.
Reality: Two medals, a good effort, rubbing out 20-year non-boardsailing jinx.
HP investment this cycle: $11.3 million (13 per cent)
2016 prospects: Promising given eight of the 15-strong team were 25 or younger.
Overall: 8/10
SWIMMING
Best success: Lauren Boyle making two finals, including fourth in the 800m freestyle.
Worst disappointment: No relay team making a final.
Expectations: No medals (HPSNZ expected a medal and five finals).
Reality: No medals, two finals.
HP investment this cycle: $7.5 million (9 per cent).
2016 prospects: None so far.
Overall: 3/10
TRACK AND FIELD
Best success: Val Adams' shot put gold medal (eventually). She joins Peter Snell as the only Kiwi track and field athlete to defend an Olympic title.
Worst disappointment: Val Adams' shot put gold medal. Drug cheating means she's also been cheated of standing on top of the dais at the Olympic stadium.
Expectations: Adams to triumph, Nick Willis to possibly medal given recent form and Kim Smith as a surprise.
Reality: One gold.
HP investment this cycle: $7.3 million (8 per cent)
2016 prospects: Adams three consecutive golds (she's still only 27), Willis and Smith might still be trucking along, shot putter Jacko Gill and discus thrower Siositina Hakeai are promising.
Overall: 6/10

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THE CONTENDERS

EQUESTRIAN
Best success: Team bronze medal behind the moneyed might of Germany and Britain but ahead of Sweden, Australia and the US.
Worst disappointment: No individual medals.
Expectations: Individual and team medals because of the home-away from- home nature of Britain and no quarantine restrictions.
Reality: One bronze. Individual medal remains elusive for Nicholson with fourth in seventh Olympics.
HP investment this cycle: $4.2 million (5 per cent)
2016 prospects: At 28, Jock Paget showed his class and composure to finish 10th. Jonelle Richards (31) also has potential with a 32nd.
Overall: 7/10

CANOEING
Best success: Lisa Carrington's gold in the K1 500m
Worst disappointment: Ben Fouhy. There was quiet hope he could produce the spark of yesteryear. Took the gold for soundbites coming off the water.
Expectations: Gold or silver from Carrington.
Reality: Carrington delivered New Zealand's fifth gold of the
Games in a thrilling finish last night.
HP investment this cycle: $4.3 million (5 per cent)
2016 prospects: Carrington (23) has a title to defend, while Taylor (25) and Fitzgerald (22) will probably want to build on finals made. All have at least another Olympics left in them. Time for HPSNZ to open the wallet.
Overall: 7/10
HOCKEY
Best success: Women forcing world No 1 Netherlands into a penalty shootout in their semifinal
Worst disappointment: Men dribbling to ninth.
Expectations: Women and men to rank somewhere in the sixth to seventh vicinity.
Reality: Women shake the rankings tree; men fall out of said
tree.
HP investment this cycle: $7.1 million (8 per cent)
2016 prospects: Women's side one of the most marketable
teams in the country; men's team might need an overhaul.
Overall: 6/10 (Men 4/women 8)

- Herald on Sunday

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