Nine days of sporting and social activity kicks off today when the South Island Masters Games springs into action.
Nearly 3000 athletes will compete at the games, being held in Timaru for the seventh time. Over the nine days of competition, participants will contest more than 500 events involving 50 sporting disciplines.
A key feature of the first weekend's competition will be indoor rowing, being held in the Caroline Bay Hall. Timaru world champion rower Shirley Godkin will be contesting the 100 metre, 500m, 1000m and 2000m events.
Mrs Godkin moves into a new age bracket this year and has her eye on breaking the New Zealand age-65-to-69 2000m record.
Several other rowers are also predicting strong perform ances, with New Zealand record holder Annette Fletcher from Auckland and Garry Aitchison from Waikanae, contesting the 70-to-74 age group and Australian competitor Lindsay Hay in the 60-to-64 age group.
The chance for New Zealand records to be broken has seen organisers scrambling to check on processes and eligibility.
The indoor rowing events start at 11am today.
Intensive competition is also expected in archery, where several of New Zealand's best archers will be in action.
The strongest contender is likely to be David Henshaw, of Christchurch, who coached the New Zealand team at the Athens Olympic Games. The archery will held at Geraldine Archery Club course at Orari Racetrack, with the medal rounds held tomorrow.
The games officially opened at a ceremony at the Trust Aoraki Caroline Bay Centre last night, where games chairman Tony Shaw, acknowledged the support of the wider sporting community in staging the event.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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