We'd sit 16th on Games medal table

20:36, Jul 31 2014
nz mens pursuit team
BRONZE: South Canterbury riders make up three quarters of the NZ men's pursuit team.

South Canterbury athletes have punched above their weight at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Shane Archbold brought the first gold medal back to Timaru in 40 years after a brilliant ride in the 25km scratch race.

Tom Walsh grabbed a silver in shot put, with an excellent effort just outside his personal best. He missed out to a Jamaican bomb no-one saw coming.

tom walsh
SILVER: Tom Walsh

Marc Ryan proved he is still a world-class rider at with a bronze medal in the individual pursuit. The 31-year-old - with Waimate 19-year-old Dylan Kennett, Archbold and Invercargill's Pieter Bulling - also picked up a bronze in the team pursuit.

The gold, silver and two bronze medals would have had South Canterbury sitting 16th on the medal table, from the 34 countries competing.

South Canterbury would slot in just below Cameroon and ahead of Papua New Guinea, Pakistan (population 182 million), and Northern Ireland.


natalie rooney
SO CLOSE: Natalie Rooney

South Canterbury's other competitor in Glasgow was trap shooter Natalie Rooney. Rooney was unlucky to miss a medal, finishing fourth after facing a sudden-death shoot-off for the bronze medal.

She had earlier held her nerve to win a three-way shoot-off, to get into medal contention.

The quintet have done South Canterbury proud.

shane archbold
GOLD: Shane Archbold

Coaches past and present can also enjoy the moment knowing how they have helped along the way.

The wider community as well as family and friends can be very satisfied.

It was not so long ago Archbold was selling chocolate bars to win $10,000 from Cadbury's so he could return to race in Europe, and he got there with the support of many who did not know him.

To all those involved in helping Archbold, Walsh, Ryan, Kennett and Rooney along the way, well done.

Let's hope they all do it again in Rio in two years' time, no doubt with some others from the wonderful sports-nurturing grounds of South Canterbury.

The Timaru Herald