ANENDRA SINGH sports editor
``WHEN you are winning too much, sometimes you think you should never lose again. I am learning to lose,' said Goran Ivanisevic, a former tennis professional who in 2001 won the Wimbledon crown as a wildcard after becoming a losing finalist in three previous Wimbledons.
What the Croat was really saying is that sometimes you learn more from losing.
Last weekend, Hawke's Bay became a classroom for sobering lessons.
Perhaps the most heart-felt one was of Rotorua golfer Danny Lee, who choked on the last hole during the New Zealand under-23 strokeplay championship. The distraught 17-year-old may turn professional at the end of the year and go down in the history books as the magical player who let a treble slip through his fingers.
It may be of little consolation to South Korean Lee, but Saturday's gut-wrenching defeat should make a better man of the schoolboy, who has private tuition from home.
It seems cruel that the teenager, who has left a lasting memory on Bay golf courses with his record-breaking feats, has been denied the ultimate glory in amateurdom. Nevertheless, that loss will ease the load on his young shoulders and could prove to be pivotal in his quest for professional glory.
Ditto Rotorua cyclist Clinton Avery. The exhausted 19-year-old slumped on the roadside with two laps of the National Road Race Championship to go at Puketapu on Sunday.
Among the favourites to win the under-23 crown, the young man learned, to his detriment, the importance of planning before a race, down to things such as nutrition that many take for granted. Water, he discovered, was not enough to replenish essential minerals lost through intense sweating in the blazing Bay sun.
Lee and Avery will someday reflect on last weekend's experiences as they take into their stride more complex issues.