Comm Games cheat sheet: Day 1
To see how New Zealand's women are shaping up this Commonwealth Games, here's your daily guide to the action on the Gold Coast
Performance of the day
Hands down, it was New Zealand’s women on wheels.
Our first medal of these Games was the silver won by the cycling quartet of Bryony Botha, Rushlee Buchanan, Kirstie James and Racquel Sheath in the women's 4000m teams pursuit. Second-fastest qualifiers, they couldn’t hold a candle to their slick Australian rivals, who blasted out a Games record time in the finals, even as they rode around the three remaining Kiwi riders right on their finish-line.
Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming set new heights for New Zealand team sprinters, breaking the national women’s record twice in a tumultuous day at the track, but it wasn’t enough to reel in the Aussies in the final. Still, they became the first Kiwi women’s sprint team to get on the podium, and collect their pieces of silver.
Quote of the day
“It always hurts to get the silver. But I think once the legs stop hurting, we will really appreciate what an amazing achievement it is to be the first medallists of the Commonwealth Games 2018,” Kirstie James, team pursuit silver medallist.
The good news
Legendary bowler Jo Edwards has taken the first steps towards repeating her 2014 gold medal in the women’s singles with two wins from two games. Squash medal hopes Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy both won their opening singles matches to advance to the round of 16.
After a disorderly start, the New Zealand netball team survived a fiery challenge from Uganda to win their first match, 64-51. In contrast, the hockey women almost needed flippers in their waterlogged opening match, sinking Scotland, 6-1. Our women's basketballers had no trouble dismissing Malaysia, 86-44, in their first victory.
And there are no more cases of mumps in the New Zealand sevens side, but Ruby Tui remains in hospital on the Sunshine Coast.
The not-so good news
Andrea Hewitt’s third Commonwealth Games triathlon was over 200m after it started. Having changed her swimming technique, she was caught in a melee of limbs in the first 200m of the swim and fell to the back to the pack, eventually finishing 13th .“I got swum over the top of...that was the end of my race.” The best of the Kiwis, upbeat 22-year-old Nicole van der Kaay, was thrilled to finish seventh.
But in good news for Bermudians: triathlon winner Flora Duffy - collecting Bermuda’s first Commonwealth gold medal since Auckland, 1990 - is so good on a bike, she’s also competing in mountain biking next week.
Games organisers were forced to deny conspiracy theories after Gold Coast’s favourite daughter, Olympic champion hurdler Sally Pearson, pulled out of the Games yesterday with an ongoing Achilles injury. Suspicion was rife in the Aussie media that organisers had kept her injury under wraps to help sell tickets. "That's a nonsense story," Gold Coast 2018 chair Peter Beattie told news.com.au. "That's rubbish. That's not us. We wouldn't do that. She's a legend. We would have loved her to be there.”
Pip Patterson and Alethea Boon in the weightlifting finals; a host of Kiwi cyclists in the sprint and individual pursuit (qualifying, then finals); NZ hockey v Ghana; NZ netball v Wales; Stella Ashcroft in gymnastics qualifying; swimmers Tupou Neiufi, Bobbi Gichard and Latricia-Leigh Transom in the pool.
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