To see how New Zealand sportswomen are performing at these Commonwealth Games, here’s your daily guide to the action on the Gold Coast from Suzanne McFadden.

Performances of the day   

Only a fool would ever discount the mental stamina and wisdom of Kiwi bowler Jo Edwards, who staged a stunning comeback to win her third Commonwealth gold medal last night. Edwards, who never looks elated when the bowl leaves her hand, couldn’t fathom what she was doing wrong to trail Wales’ Laura Daniels for much of their singles final at the Broadbeach Bowls Club – at one stage, down 17-13 (virtually match-point in bowls). 

“Halfway through I thought ‘Well, silver is still a nice colour’. But then I had to tell myself, I can still get back in this,” the Nelson bowler revealed. She then dug deep to swing the momentum her way, eventually winning 21-17 – adding to the singles gold she won at the last Games in Glasgow, and the pairs gold she collected in 2002.

Who couldn’t feel emotional after plucky race walker Alana Barber battled through cramps in the last 5km of the women’s 20km walk to win silver? Barber set a hot pace in the early laps under the scorching sun, and had to mentally brush aside the drama of Australian walker Claire Tallent, who was in the lead when she was disqualified with only 2km to go.

Barber was plainly thrilled for gold medallist, Aussie Jemima Montag, who’s been her training partner leading into these Games. And she was happy to finish a few places higher than her running mum, Shirley Somervell, who was eighth in the 800m back at the 1974 Commonwealth Games.

The night ended with a bronze medal for cyclist Natasha Hansen – her third medal of these Games – this time in the keirin. It capped off a stunning four days for the sprinter, who almost quit the sport 18 months ago with chronic back problems.

Quote of the day

“My dad hasn’t left New Zealand since 1973. So for him to make the trip over was a really big deal. That’s what was going through my mind when I was cramping up. I just needed to get to the finish line…” silver walker Alana Barber.

The good news

Joelle King is guaranteed a medal tonight after battling her way into the final of the women’s squash singles. She had to knock out defending Commonwealth and eight-time world champion Nicol David of Malaysia, winning in four testing games in her semifinal last night. Only England’s Sarah-Jane Perry now stands between King and gold.  

Teenage naval rating and boxer Tasmyn Benny has beaten Lethabo Modukanele of Botswana, to advance to the semi-finals of the under 48kg division.

The Tall Ferns remain unbeaten in their basketball pool after a 90-55 win over India – in the presence of Prince Charles, no less.

Although she didn’t win a medal, Andrea Hams completed her transformation from Games hurdler to weightlifter. A bronze medallist in the 100m hurdles at the 2010 Delhi Games, Hams finished sixth in the women’s 69kg event – with a personal best of 95kg in the snatch. Team-mate Alethea Boon – a two-time Games gymnast in the past – finished fifth in the 58kg women’s weightlifting.

And despite spraining a finger and nearly collapsing after her exhausting gold medal swim in the 200m individual medley on Saturday night, Sophie Pascoe is raring to go for a second gold today, in the S9 100m breaststroke.

The not-so-good-news

Was that the death knell that just sounded for the Silver Ferns? Three weeks ago, they trounced Malawi in Auckland by 33 goals. Last night the world No. 2 New Zealanders lost to the African queens for the first time in netball history, 57-53. The Ferns, who’ve never looked cohesive or confident at these Games, relinquished a 10-goal lead and seriously dinged their hopes of making the semi-finals.   

A disconnected Black Sticks struggled through a 0-0 draw with Canada, who are ranked No. 21 in the world. They’ll need to get their mojo back for their final pool match today with archrivals Australia. But it could have been worse: on the other side of the draw, top seeds England, fell to India, 2-1 .

What the?

Australian Olympic beach volleyball champion Kerri Pottharst dropped a racial clanger during Channel 7’s coverage of the beach volleyball match between Australia and St Kitts and Nevis, describing the Caribbean players covered in sand as ‘human lamingtons’. Pottharst, who won gold at the 2000 Olympics, has since apologised profusely in a statement, saying it was “100 percent not meant to offend”.

And why wasn’t one of the great performances of these Games, Jo Edward’s gold, shown on any of TVNZ’s dedicated TV channels? It could only be seen online, via live stream.

Coming up

Joelle King in the squash singles final; Jo Edwards back on the bowling green with Val Smith in the pairs; Tracey Lambrechs and Laurel Hubbard in weightlifting; Sophie Pascoe, Bobbi Gichard and Helena Gasson in the pool; Holly Robinson in the F46 javelin final; Camille Buscombe’s 10,000m final; NZ beach volleyball vs Vanuatu; Silver Ferns v Scotland, Black Sticks v Australia.

Medal count    

2 gold    4 silver   3 bronze 

Suzanne McFadden, the 2021 Voyager Media Awards Sports Journalist of the Year, founded LockerRoom, dedicated to women's sport.

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