Five medals in Glasgow a pass, says Goodman
The bankers delivered, while Zane Robertson and Julia Ratcliffe ensured New Zealand's athletics team emerged from Glasgow with a spring in their spikes.
Athletics New Zealand high performance director Scott Goodman gave his 22-strong squad a pass mark for their five medals from the Commonwealth Games programme which wrapped up yesterday. Pre-Games, Goodman said he'd be disappointed with fewer than four, and ecstatic with more than six medals.
Valerie Adams (gold), Tom Walsh (silver) and Nick Willis (bronze) were three to paste in the medal scrapbook beforehand, but the young brigade needed to shine with a view to the Rio Olympics in two years' time.
Of those, Robertson was outstanding in a competitive 5000m to snare bronze, Ratcliffe was calm and composed in the hammer circle to claim silver at just 21, and Siositina Hakeai finished fourth in the discus with the promise of more to come.
"I'm not disappointed. Our funding programme is to get results in Rio . . . I didn't come here to win a specific tally of medals, but five is a pass mark," Goodman said.
Four years ago in Delhi, New Zealand won seven medals at the track, highlighted by Nikki Hamblin's double silver.
This time, Goodman felt Robertson, closely followed by Ratcliffe, were the standout results while twin brother Jake could hold his head up.
Angie Smit (800m) and Hamblin (1500m) both had top-five finishes, the former only 22 and finding her feet at international level. With promising steeplechaser Rosa Flanagan and pole vaulter Eliza McCartney on the fringes, Goodman felt the future was bright.
Still there were some mixed results. Shot putter Jacko Gill seemed to get stage fright while decathletes Brent Newdick and Scott McLaren hardly covered themselves in glory.