Kiwi wins cheese rolling contest

00:08, Jun 15 2009
WINNER: Michelle Kokiri said she 'went hard at it all the way'.

Gisborne's Michelle Kokiri, 25, who works in London as a nanny, has won the women's competition in Gloucestershire's annual cheese rolling event.

The venue, a 33m slope at Cooper's Hill near Brockworth, was the scene of Bank Holiday mayhem this week as thousands of people risked life and limb in an attempt to catch a 3.6kg double gloucester cheese wheel, The Telegraph newspaper reported.

The event, one of Gloucestershire's longest-standing traditions, saw a wacky variety of costumes on show with daring runners turning out in skimpy swim-wear, underpants and super hero costumes.

"I just went hard at it all the way. It's great. It's a buzz and I'm just glad I didn't break anything," Ms Kokiri said.

This year's injury toll of 18 was described as "low" by St John Ambulance, and 10 of the wounded were not competitors but spectators.

Three cheese-chasers were taken to hospital for treatment - two with suspected spinal injuries and one with a dislocated shoulder. The rest had cuts and bruises.


Six people fainted just watching the event and four other spectators have minor injuries.

The final race was won by Josh Geitz, a 24-year-old builder from Brisbane.

The first written evidence of the event dates from 1826, but the tradition was established long before - perhaps as a pagan harvest ritual.