Sunday, August 17, 2008

Super Golden Saturday - New Zealand's greatest day in Olympic history...

First pubished at Qassia:

Super Golden Saturday - New Zealand's greatest day in Olympic history...

Super Golden Saturday - New Zealand's most successful day in Olympic history...
New Zealand has won more than one gold medal in a day in an Olympic Games before - Peter Snell and Murray Halberg achieved this on the track in Rome within an hour in 1960, but have never won five medals in one day before.

New Zealand had five boats through to the finals in rowing:

Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell, the twin sisters, repeated their achievement in Athens four years ago by winning the gold medal for the women's double scull, by one 1/hundredth of a second, a sensational performance in getting up to win after their trials and tribulations of the last year or two, sickness, loss of form and failure in the world championships. We have a saying in New Zealand: The cream always rises to the top!

Hayden Roulston, almost an unknown before the games, rode off for first and second place in the men's Individual Pursuit track cycling at the Velodrome. He achieved silver against the seasoned world champion.

The valiant sick and dehydrated Mahe Drysdale, three times world champion struggled through to finals by the barest margin, swept through to the lead in the men's single scull, before collapsing - but managed third and the bronze medal. He needed medical and ambulance assistance, but still made it to the podium to receive his bronze medal. Not a winner, but a real champion to be proud of.

Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater, so brave and consistent through to the Men's Pairs rowing final and the bronze medal for third place.

And V stands for Victory and our VALERIE VILI, former youth, junior and world champion, and Commonwealth Games champion in the Women's Shot Put - Gold from her first throw in the finals. The rest of the field failed to reach her mark of 20.56 metres. All of her races were in excess of 20 metres.

Valerie made a victory lap round the stadium with a New Zealand flag draped around her shoulders, putting security into a mild panic. She wanted to honour those who supported her, her fellow New Zealand team members and other athletes. She is a new champion and super star in her specialist event - the Shot Put. The reigning Olympic Champion from Athens in 2004 could only manage second place and silver this time round.

Five medals in a day, and hopefully more to come. Some Kiwis were getting paranoid that NZ had not won any medals in the first six days, but our athletes have traditionally done better in the secon week of Olympic competitions.

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