100th medal for NZ brings cheer

Last updated 05:00 09/08/2012

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Those pesky Aussies might have moved ahead of us on the medal table but Kiwis have fresh cause to celebrate - we have won our 100th Olympic Games medal.

Yachties Peter Burling and Blair Tuke this morning secured the silver medal in the 49ers class at the Olympic regatta off Weymouth, officially bringing up a century of Games metal.

New Zealand's Games squad went to London with a total of 90 medals earned during the history of summer and winter Olympics.

With nine medals garnered by our rowers, equestrian riders, track cyclists and the silver from Val Adams, Burling and Tuke were the first Kiwi sailors to strike a medal and therefore bring up the ton.

The effort conveniently diverts attention from the Australians finally passing New Zealand on the medal table after a big night in the cycling velodrome and London Stadium where they gained gold medals via Anna Meares and Sally Pearson.

New Zealand Olympic Committee officials had always believed we would win our 100th medal at these Games and will welcome the diversion from "Val-Gate" and the media attention around the gaffe that had Adams and four other Kiwi athletes left off starting confirmation lists for their individual events in London.

Fittingly, Burling and Tuke are considered long-term Olympians. Both are in their early 20s, and expected to have lengthy Olympic careers.

New Zealand has won three gold, two silver and four bronze medals so far in London.

Sailors Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie are looking strong for a further gold while BMX hopes Sarah Walker and Marc Willers, the Black Sticks women's hockey team and kayaker Lisa Carrington are also considered prospects.

New Zealand won four golds in Beijing.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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