Tough day at office for VC winner Willie Apiata at World Masters Games

Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata has received his share of medals: Today, it was silver in colour.

On the final day of competition at World Masters Games 2017, the national hero, who earned his VC through bravery under fire in Afghanistan, was part of Team Barfoot & Thompson, contesting the 30s rugby final at Pakuranga's Lloyd Elsmore Park.

But Apiata's side, a conglomeration of president's grade players from South Auckland clubs, were never really in the hunt, thoroughly outgunned 60-5 on the day by North Western Allies.

As the 10-day festival drew to a close, tired bodies, icepacks and plenty of strapping were the order of the day.

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Off Takapuna beach, swim legend Anthony Mosse continued his successful week with victory in the 50-54 open water recreational event, heading home former swim/triathlon/surf lifesaving star Rick Wells by almost a minute.

Mosse's time was faster than the championship race over the same distance, where Commonwealth Games gold medalist Moss Burmester took out the M35-39 category.

After three silver medals and a bronze over a range of disciplines, Games sponsor Garth Barfoot finally struck gold in his M80-84 open water recreational division.

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After victories over 10km (road and track), and 5000m and 1500m on the track, Kiwi Sally Gibbs secured her fifth gold medal of the week in the W50-54 cross country event around the Auckland Domain.

Willie Apiata leaves the pitch after the full-time whistle at the World Masters Games rugby final between his Pukekohe team and North Western Allies. Photo/Jason Oxenham
Willie Apiata leaves the pitch after the full-time whistle at the World Masters Games rugby final between his Pukekohe team and North Western Allies. Photo/Jason Oxenham

Montreal Olympic hockey gold medallist Mohan Patel took a silver medal as part of The Bulls in the M60 division, falling 1-0 to Harbour Masters.

Former All White Noah Hickey missed the final through injury, but still claimed a gold medal as part of the Rangitoto United side that beat Leichhardt Tigers 9-0 in their MA35+ final.

The 2004 Tall Ferns, quarterfinalists at the Athens Olympics, completed an unbeaten week at the basketball with gold in the WA35+ division, defeating Strugglers from Australia 66-38 in the final.

- NZ Herald

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