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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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A lot of good, some bad, and an ugly default

GOOD

What better to kick off than with some good local news and the 400 or so kids who swam, biked and ran their way around Wairarapa College on Monday in the first of the Breadcraft Kids’ Triathlons. The longest-running kids triathlon of its kind in New Zealand, it is still going strong in its 35th year. There are another two over the next two Monday nights, so hey, kids, it isn’t too late to enter – just go online to the Wairarapa Multi Sports Club website, and we’ll see you on Monday.

Red Star lead the Coastal Challenge Cricket Championship after a 21-run win over defending champions Levin Old Boys in a low-scoring game at Rathkeale.

The honest mare Ruby Rocks had the big crowd cheering her on as she strode to an easy victory in the Wairarapa Cup at Tauherenīkau on Waitangi Day for Ōpaki trainer Roger Allen, and that wraps up the good local news.

Erika Fairweather made a splash at the World Swimming Champs in Doha, becoming the first Kiwi to win a long course world title, touching the wall first in the 400m freestyle in a personal best 3:59.44, one of the top five times for the event.

Aaron Gate’s remarkable cycle of results continued with a thrilling win in the national road race championship at Timaru, adding to his victory in last month’s NZ Cycle Classic raced in Wairarapa, which was followed by a win in the Madison with Campbell Stewart at the UCI Nations Cup in Adelaide.

Big kudos to the Wellington Phoenix’s club equipment manager, Jack Mapp, who made a hurried dash to Upper Hutt to collect the team’s yellow strip and avoid a colour clash after Western United only fronted with their black and green home strip. The Phoenix were untroubled by the 15-minute delay, winning 2–0 for a five-point lead in the A-League.

Super Bowl LVIII lived up to the hype, and the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers produced a thriller in Vegas, sending the big dance to overtime for only the second time in history. The wonder kid Patrick Mahomes stepped up when needed with a 13-play drive before sending Mecole Hardman into the end zone for a 24–22 triumph, and the Chiefs’ third Lombardi Trophy win in five years.

BAD

The overexposure of an overrated pop star [whose name I promised never to mention again in a sports column] at the Super Bowl, but then again, I thought the game was all about sport; clearly, I’m wrong!

Prospects of Dalefield fielding a women’s team in the Wellington premier championship have dived with the news that nine players from last year’s champion side have moved on for various reasons.

If you want rain in Wairarapa, plan a big sports event, and voila, it’s bound to open up the skies. This time, it was the Mayhem meeting at the Masterton Motorplex dragstrip that fell victim on Sunday without a car burning up the track in anger on the second day of the big meeting of the season.

Losing their first six wickets for 19 runs summed up the Wairarapa Korus season. Chasing Manawatū’s total of 105 on Sunday, the women were never in the hunt after the top-order capitulation and finished the Shrimpton Trophy in disappointing style.

The Tall Ferns blew a prime opportunity to qualify for the women’s basketball at the Paris Olympics, needing only to beat Puerto Rico but going down 69–67 in a nailbiter.

On a sad note, the death of world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum in a car crash in his native Kenya has rocked athletics. The 24-year-old had the world at his feet after setting a world record of two hours and 35 seconds in Chicago last year.

UGLY

My disdain for defaults has stepped to another level after Giants Red were again consigned to a Saturday in the vege garden or the pub after Demons defaulted their Hutt Valley Softball clash.

That makes it at least three wins by default for the Reds and at least seven for the Masterton club, with the premier two Blues and the women, also denied too many weekends without softball, pushing the default plague into the ugly zone.

What is Hutt Valley likely to do about it? Nothing going on form over the past two decades!

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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