A silver medal and another semi-finalist were the highlights of day three's performances by Bay athletes.

The New Zealand women's rugby sevens team, including player Kelly Brazier and coach Sean Horan, both from Tauranga, claimed silver medals after losing 24-17 to Australia in the final.

Luuka Jones also comfortably qualified for the semifinals after a flawless opening run on the women's canoe slalom course.

The Tauranga paddler has qualified fourth for the semifinals with her first run good enough to see her advance.


Jones was sitting second after her penalty-free opening performance, just seven one hundreths of a second off leader Fiona Pennie of Great Britain.

But Italy's Stefanie Horn and Jessica Fox of Australia leapt ahead of the pair in the second run, and neither Jones nor Pennie could better their earlier efforts in their second attempt.

Tauranga's Ella Nicholas, competing in the canoe slalom for the Cook Islands, did not qualify to move through to the semi-finals, placing of 18th.

The semifinals will be held on Friday morning.

The women's Blacks Sticks, featuring Tauranga players Gemma Flynn, Sam Charlton and Rose Keddell, had a setback when they were beaten 2-1 by Germany in their second pool A game.

They had been hoping to build on an encouraging 4-1 first up win over South Korea but instead, after starting well, they struggled to press on in the second half.

On rankings, it was a game New Zealand would have expected to win, Germany being ranked five places lower.

The Blacks Sticks now have a day before facing world No 14 Spain early on Thursday (NZT).

Sam Meech opened his first Olympic regatta sailing two races yesterday on Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro to lie 6th overall in the Laser event.

"It's fair to say I was pretty nervous before the first start, but as soon as the start gun goes its business as usual," said the 25-year old who represents the Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club.

"I had fantastic starts, which was great because that was my aim for the day."

Meech is competing in the largest fleet of all ten Olympic events featuring 46 sailors (from 46 nations).

In race one Meech came home in 19th place, and reported that the conditions on the Naval course were challenging in places.

"We had good breeze, but it was really tricky. The outer loop of our course was insane, it was between 5 and 15 knots and it was really tricky to tell what was going to happen next."

In his second race Meech took 3rd place lifting him up to hold 6th in the overall standings with 22 points at the end of the first day of competition.

Meech returns to the race track today for two more races and will compete over the coming week building towards the Laser medal race on August 15.

Coming up:



Rugby sevens

: Scott Curry in the men's team who will play their first pool match against Japan at 3.30am and their second game against Kenya at 8.30am. Coached by Sir Gordon Tietjens.


: Sam Meech in the men's laser class at 4.15am and 5.40am.

Women's hockey: The women's Blacks Sticks, featuring Tauranga players Gemma Flynn, Sam Charlton play Spain at 1am.
Rugby sevens: Scott Curry in the men's team who will play Great Britain at 3.30am. Coached by Sir Gordon Tietjens.
Sailing: Sam Meech in the men's laser class at 4.05am and 5.30am.