Talk about the hard luck story of the Rio Olympics.

New Zealand's Black Sticks lead Germany 2-0 in the dying minutes of the men's hockey sudden death quarter finals only to lose 3-2 - with the winning goal scored with just 1.8 seconds left on the clock.

Was it a choke? Or just hard luck? The jury is split on that claim but there was no denying how devastated the Kiwis were.

Even the Germans broke from their elated post-match celebrations to console the heart-broken New Zealanders.


The result was a definite contender for the worst "Hard Luck Award" in Rio.

Here's five others the New Zealand Herald can add to the list.....
1) Aussie Cate Campbell holds the world 100m freestyle record but will leave Rio with some extra weight in her baggage and on her mind with the 'greatest choke in history' accompanying the Australian swimmer's gold and silver relay medals.

"The world got to witness possibly the greatest choke in Olympic history," Campbell told reporters, hinting at a possible injury but saying now was not the time to talk about it. But she finished sixth in her pet event.

Adding to the insult, she and her world champion sister Bronte also missed out on the medals in the 50m final.

2) Sir Mark Todd could afford to drop one rail and still win New Zealand gold in the equestrian team event last week. Even dropping three rails in the show jumping showdown would have allowed the Kiwis to match their bronze medal of London four years ago.

Instead Todd's horse Leonardis, who had only dropped one rail in the previous two years of international competition, got spooked by the occasion and instead knocked over four rails which saw the New Zealanders drop to fourth place.

There was irony later when the top 25 riders returned for a second show jumping round to determine the individual medals and Todd went clear to finish seventh.

3) Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche developed a serious case of bacterial pneumonia which forced him to miss the Olympic road race.

Roche suggested on Twitter that he "probably" got sick from "bad aircon in Rio". But he didn't go into detail on why he thought his ailment was caused by air conditioning, nor did he specify whether it was from a unit in the Olympic village.

Roche said he was "gutted" to miss the race and it had been a "hard last few days".

4) India has won four shooting medals in the past three Olympics and arrived for the Rio Games with high hopes of more. But as dismal outing meant they have failed to add to that tally.

National Rifle Association of India president Raninder Singh took the blame for the shooters' dismal outing, saying it was a mistake on his part to allow the athletes to train with personal coaches.

Raninder admitted in making a "tactical blunder". It is India's first medal-less game in shooting since 2000.

5) Valerie Adams all but had her third Olympic gold medal around her neck when American rival Michelle Carter stole it in the shot put showdown in Rio on Saturday.

The Kiwi world champion had virtually owned the event throughout the final and when it came to the last of their standard six throws for all finalists, only she and Carter were left. The American then pulled a "shot from heaven" out, hurling a staggering throw of 20.69 metres. Adams had earlier thrown a 20.42m effort that seemed destined for gold.

Adams had one last chance to top Carter's phenomenal throw but wasn't able to do it and had to settle for silver.