It's all over for our athletes

00:24, Aug 06 2012

Marlborough's Olympians can reflect on a job well done in London 2012.

With the rowing programme concluding on Saturday and the Oly-Whites unable to progress to the next round, it's time for our representatives to relax and savour the atmosphere of the Games Village.

Star of the show among the Marlborough contingent was undoubtedly the Picton power pack, Joseph Sullivan. He and Nathan Cohen delivered this country's first gold and put a tear in the eye of those lucky enough to watch their race live. Some said Joseph was too small - well, on Thursday he was the biggest star on the world's biggest sporting stage. He is planning to return home on August 15. Let's give him the welcome home he deserves.

None of our other rowers stood on the podium, but all turned in worthy performances. Fiona Paterson and her double sculling partner Anna Reymer were the closest to a medal, finishing fifth in the A final. Robbie Manson's quad come home ranked seventh after taking out their B final, while Sean O'Neill and the four look a work in progress, ending the regatta ranked 11th in the world.

In sport, a split second can mean heartbreak but, as Louise Trappitt and footballer Michael O'Keeffe showed, it's how you respond to such misfortune that defines you.

When Louise's oar broke as the Kiwi quad pushed for a place in the final, their Olympic dream ended and Louise was shattered, mainly for her team-mates. But to come out a day later and win the B final and claim seventh overall showed the determination that will stand this young crew in good stead for Rio in four years.

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Michael, thrust into goal for the Oly-Whites after an injury to their first-choice keeper, recovered from an early blunder to become one of NZ's top performers. Rather than dwell on it after letting in a soft goal against Belarus, he made a string of world-class saves in the second spell. Superb in the side's 1-1 draw with Egypt, he has put himself firmly in the international football shop window.

And let's not forget rowing coach John Robinson, whose women's pair claimed bronze, NZ's first medal at Eton Dorney. His first Olympic medal as a coach is just reward for the countless hours of work he has put in.

Well done to all our Olympians - you have made us proud.

The Marlborough Express