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 Steve Deane.
Performances of the day
New Zealand’s boxers came out swinging, and its netballers didn’t on Day 7 on the GC.
Troy Garton will return home with at least a bronze medal after beating Botswana’s Aratwa Kasemang in the women’s 60kg quarterfinal. The 30-year-old former Shortland Street actor and Les Mills gym employee posted a unanimous points victory to reach the medal rounds.
She now takes on Australia’s Swedish-born Anja Stridsman on Friday afternoon for a place in the final.
Tasmyn Benny, a 19-year-old navy medic, had to settle for a bronze medal after losing her semi final in the 45-48kg class to Northern Ireland’s Kristina O’Hara.
Not such good news on the netball front, with the Silver Ferns going down to England in their last pool match – the nine-goal margin England’s biggest win over the Ferns in history – and their captain Katrina Grant reduced to tears.
Quotes of the day
“A lot of people back home are saying that there doesn’t seem to be any pride in the black dress … ummm … I’m sure you girls have some [long talks] about what all this means and of course you know in terms of the results, they haven’t been quite what you wanted.” – Jenny-May Clarkson asks the question that reduced Katrina Grant to tears, and bizarrely divided a nation after the Silver Ferns lost to England.
“Of course we’ve got pride… that’s hard, yeah… of course we’ve got pride. It means a lot to every single one of us. We were little kids, young girls growing up playing netball, and that’s all we wanted. So there’s a lot of pride in this black dress. And that’s hard to take.” – Grant answers
The good news
The Silver Ferns aren’t dead yet. A healthy goal differential meant they qualified for the semis, after Uganda beat Scotland by only 20 goals (they needed more than 35 to oust the Ferns from the top four). And there’s also the Black Sticks, through to the hockey semis tonight, and the Black Ferns sevens team to come, so we’re not dead yet in team sports.
Young synchronised divers Lizzie Cui and Yu Qian Goh placed just outside the medals, finishing fourth in the 3m springboard final.
The Silver Ferns now play defending champs Australia after the hosts were impressive in pounding Jamaica 75-51. It will take a major form reversal for the shaken Ferns to be at all competitive.
And our chances of winning any more medals on the bowling green were shattered when both the women’s triples and the highly-rated pair of Val Smith and gold medallist Jo Edwards were knocked out before the medals round.
New Zealanders appear to be divided on whether Jenny-May should have mentioned to Katrina Grant that some Kiwis were annoyed enough by her team’s results to hold the view that team lacked pride it its performances.
Some found this disrespectful and unnecessarily hurtful, while others reasoned that Grant was in fact an adult rather than an eight-year-old, and all was fair in love and courtside interviewing.
This column reckons Jenny-May was well within her rights to ask a tough question – but should have had the guts to own it herself rather than go for the cop out “people back home are saying”.
Janet Hunt and Sally Johnston in the 50m rifle prone final; Samara Sheppard in mountain bike cross country; Valerie Adams in the shot put qualification; Angie Petty in the 800m heats; Sositina Hakeai in the discus final; Black Sticks v England; Joelle King and Paul Coll in the mixed doubles squash quarterfinals.
5 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze