Mohamed wins gold for adopted country

Some people are intent on focussing on the bad of a small number of immigrants in Europe and in Great Britain.

But there are also very good immigrants. Like Mohamed. He is one of the best ever when it comes to middle distance running. He has just won a second gold medal for Great Britain in the 10,000 metres.

Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah is a British distance runner.

He was a gold medallist in the 5000 m and 10,000 m at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2015 World Championships in Athletics. In the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he won the 10,000 m gold medal.

He also completed the double at the 2013 World Championships in Athletics and the European Athletics Championships in 2010 and 2014 (the first British male winner of all those events).

He was the second man in history to win long-distance doubles at successive Olympics and World Championships, and the first in history to do the triple-double.

Born in Somalia, Farah moved to the United Kingdom as a child.

Most of Great Britain and a lot of the world have cheered Mo’s accomplishments. As a runner.

Farah is a devout Muslim, and is an active supporter of the Muslim Writers Awards.

Islam is an important part of his preparation: “I normally pray before a race, I read dua [Islamic prayers or invocations], think about how hard I’ve worked and just go for it.” He notes that “the Qur’an says that you must work hard in whatever you do, so I work hard in training and that’s got a lot to do with being successful. It doesn’t just come overnight, you’ve got to train for it and believe in yourself; that’s the most important thing.”

An RISSC publication named Mo Farah as among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world in 2013.

Regardless of his religious beliefs he seems to be a very good role model.


Quiet day at the Olympics

It’s a relatively quiet day at the Olympics for Kiwis today.

Danny Lee has improved slightly in his final round of gold and will finish on about 27th (tied). Ryan Fox has finished tied for 39th.

Sailing heats continue.

There will be women’s weightlifting at 6.30 am and some more track cycling from 7.00 am.

New Zealand play Germany in a hockey quarter final starting at 11.30 am.

Mahe Dryssdale has spoken out about the overall rowing results, saying that experience and ‘a coach as good as Dick Tonks’ are a must – the New Zealand team was youngish apart from Mahe.

One News: Golden boy Mahe Drysdale says inexperience made life tough for Kiwi rowers in Rio

I thing expectations can exceed results with the Olympics because many athletes lift themselves for the four yearly event, and many countries are putting more resources into developing athletes and contesting.

New Zealand may well be doing better but so are many others.

I watched the men’s 10,000 meters track race yesterday. I thought Zane Robertson did very well. He couldn’t keep up with the leading bunch but still finished still running strongly  in 12th and beat a longstanding New Zealand record that has been held by Dick Quax.




Olympics – Mahe gold

Mahe Drysdale has won gold in the rowing single scull, doubling New Zealand’s gold tally.

This follows a bronze for Drysdale in Beijing in 2008 and a gold in London in 2012.


Photo: Newshub

NZ Herald: Gold for Mahe Drysdale

Mahe Drysdale has triumphed in the closest rowing final in Olympic history.

Drysdale won by less than the width of a bow ball over Croatian Damir Martin. Both posted identical times of six minutes 41.34s on Rio’s Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.

The pair suffered an interminable wait for the confirmed result as officials pored over the photo finish.

Drysdale becomes New Zealand’s oldest Olympic champion at 37 years, eight months and 25 days, taking over from sailor Chris Timms who won in the Tornado at Los Angeles in 1984 aged 37 years four months and 15 days.

The rest of the rowers missed out, with Emma Twigg 4th in the women’s single scull, the women’s eight also fourth and men’s eight sixth.

In cycling the women’s pursuit runs off for bronze at 8:07 am.

Sailing continues with some New Zealanders doing well. I’ll collate positions later.

Danny Lee has had a bad day, 4 over after eleven holes and he is currently hacking in the bushes. Double bogie on the 12th.

Zane Robertson runs on the 10,000m at 12.25 pm. I have no idea what his chances are.

Has anyone heard of Dylan Schmidt? He is in the top 8 and will jump in the trampoline final shortly. He ended up getting seventh, which is very good for one of the youngest competitors. It’s amazing how high the jump.

Sailing progress:

  • Men’s 49er (skiff) 1st after 6 of 12 preliminary races
  • Women’s 49er FX (skiff) 2nd equal after 6 of 12
  • Men’s laser (dinghy) 3rd after 10 of 10
  • Mixed nacra 17 (multihull) 4th after 9 of 12
  • Women’s 470 (dinghy) 6th after 5 of 10
  • Men’s finn (dinghy) 13th after 8 of 10

More Olympics

Another silver medal overnight with Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown finishing well to get up to second in the rowing women’s pair.

Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg are into the finals of their respective single sculls.

In the women’s hockey the Black Sticks had a very creditable 1-1 draw with world number one team the Netherlands. That puts them second equal with Germany on the Group B table, behind the Netherlands.  They are assured of making the quarter finals with one pool game to go.

See NZ Herald Rio Olympics 2016: Black Sticks stun world’s best

Valerie Adams qualified in first place in the shot put. The final is down for 1.00 pm which seems an odd time.

There’s golf and yachting under way, and plenty more cycling starts at 7.00 am.

Quentin Rew is currently walking.

Beyond New Zealand an upset lost to the USA women’s football team to Sweden in a penalty shootout. USAS are current world and Olympics champions.

Danny Lee has jumped up the golf leader board with a 6 under round 2 to lie tied for sixth, 5 shots off the lead and 3 shots off the bronze position.

Men’s cyclist pursuit will ride off for the bronze against Netherlands.

Valerie Adams led into the last round of the shot put but was beaten on the last throw by American Michelle Carter. So a silver for Adams, still very creditable, but a slightly disappointing result for her.

A personal best and US record for Carter so she put that shot when it really mattered.



Go Fiji!

Fiji have never won an Olympic medal – yet. They are currently playing in the semi-final of the men’s sevens, against Japan, and it looks like they are on track to win this and guarantee a gold or silver.

Fiji would be a very popular winner, and it will good enough to see them get any sort of medal in a sport they are passionate about.

Japan have done extremely well to make the semis, beating New Zealand in their first game, but they are struggling against Fiji. Final score 20-5.

Go Fiji!

Versus Great Britain in the final, who have just beaten South Africa.


Olympic gold + silver

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won gold earlier this morning in the men’s pair rowing. They were favourites to win and it would have been the first real medal upset for New Zealand if they hadn’t. They have been unbeatable for just about forever.


Bond and Murray strike gold

Bond and Murray, unbeaten as a pair since forming eight years ago, won by 2.8s from Britons Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling, with the Italian crew third. It was New Zealand’s first gold medal of the Rio Olympics.

Conditions were tricky, with a blustery wind roughing up the water, and the New Zealanders were only third at the 500m point.

But once they pressed on the accelerator, they took control of the race. They were ahead by halfway and were never threatened.

Murray said they went hard through the middle stages because they wanted to establish a clear lead.

“I wanted to get some distance over the field in case something went wrong over the last 500 metres,” he said.

“We’re ecstatic,” Murray said. “There was a lot of pressure and expectation. Fair game as we have not been beaten. We put pressure on ourselves.”

He said he and Bond were far prouder of what they had have done to get to this point than they were about the race itself.

“We’re thankful for all the support we received.”

Bond reflected the intense nature of the build-up when he said: “The last few months have been hard. I’m sick and tired.”

He said it wasn’t perfect race but “we got going in the third 500 and it went from there”.

The New Zealand media finally have something positive to go overboard on. But there was no joy in other rowing events.

Sailing events continue with nothing exciting there yet.

A win that few will care about – the men’s sevens team team won, beating France 24-19 in a 5-8 place playoff. I think they will play Argentina for 5-6, who have just beaten Australia, at 9 am.

Luuka Jones is in the Kayak slalom final at 6.00 am.

Track cycling qualifying events start for New Zealand at 7.00 am.

Danny Lee Lee and Ryan fox must have played their first rounds in the gold but I can’t find a result for them yet.

Just seen Ryan Fox birdie the 15th to go to even par. Still can’t find a leaderboard or finished rounds. Ok, just found that Lee finished his round on +1. Some players are -4 still on the course so the Kiwis are a bit off the pace. Marcus Fraser from Australia is -8, that’s a big gap.

Luuka Jones had a very slalom run in the final and is in silver position with one to go.

Silver for Luuka! It’s great to see unexpected medals like this.




Mens track cycling sprint team qualified. Women’s pursuit have just broken the Olympic record in qualifying.


Olympics Thursday

Mike Dawson had a successful semi-final in the Kayak Slalom (it’s a good sport to watch) and will compete in the finals from 6.15 am this morning.

Linda Villumsen was seen as a medal chance but didn’t manage some wet and windy conditions well enough but was still a creditable sixth.

The mens sevens team are still struggling and have lost again, this time to Great Britain 19-21. They started badly, trailing by 0-21 at half time.

They qualified for the quarter finals as one of the best third place getters by a bare point in points difference.

They will play Fiji in the quarter final at 8 am. It looks like they will have to improve substantially to advance from there.

The womens’ hockey team won again 2-1 against Spain. That’s two from three with two pool games to go so they are still in with a chance.

There’s lots of sailing going on in early rounds.

Mens’ hockey versus Brazil at 10.30 am.


Olympics – equestrian disappointment

After a good day at the cross country yesterday when the equestrian team rose to second place a disappointing result, finishing in fourth, just 3.5 points behind Australia who took the bronze behind France and Germany.

Jonelle Price dropped two rails to incur 8 penalty points, then Clarke Johnstone had a clear round. This left the result in Mark Todd’s hands and he dropped four rails to incur 16 penalty points, just too many to earn a medal.

The individual competition is currently under way with Johnstone starting the show jumping in fifth, Todd on eleventh and Price on sixteenth.

A shock result in the first pool game of the sevens with New Zealand losing 12-14 to Japan. Complacency? Over-confidence? Or just not good enough?

This doesn’t mean the end for them but they will have to beat both Kenya and Great Britain to progress to the playoffs.

The mens hockey team lost again, this time 2-3 to Spain. If they win their two remaining pool games they may still progress but they will have to improve.

Mixed results in the heats of the rowing, with some crews doing well and others missing out on finals.

A number of sailing events are also under way today.

Update – No medals in the individual equestrian eventing.

Olympics Tuesday

There’s a lot going on at the Olympics, and yeah it’s a bit distracting from other stuff. But I like it.

Slalom kayaking is good to watch. Luuka Jones was second fastest in her first run and has another go at 6.00 am – which is also the time for the womens sevens semi final versus England.

UPDATE: Luuka is currently third after most of the second run so should comfortably qualifies for the semi final.

Also rowing heats continue, and Darcina-rose Manuel has had one wind and one loss in judo.

And the womens’ hockey team is down 1-2 to Germany hearing the end of the match. And that is the final score.

New Zealand are currently 2nd in the equestrian eventing on cross country day (show jumping yet to come).

A good progress and results summary:

The sevens team cleaned up Great Britain, winning 25-7 (having two players sin binned at the same time killed GBR’s chances). So the final will be New Zealand versus Australia.


First medal for New Zealand

Natalie Rooney has just won silver medal in the Women’s Trap Shooting, New Zealand’s first medal at the Rio Olympics.

One of the things I like about the Olympics is seeing sports that are not usually shown on TV. Some of them are very good watching.

The trap shooting is good watching, happens quite quickly and there is action and tension.

Rooney qualified for the gold/silver shoot-off and lost that by one shot, but a silver is still a very good result.

I enjoyed watching archery yesterday and New Zealand wasn’t involved.

At the other end of the time scale cycle road racing can be interesting and absorbing too. Linda Villumsen is off the pace well into the last lap but I think time trial is her speciality.

There’s just been an awful downhill crash in the road race, the race leader looks to be out cold.