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Special Olympians bring home a bag of medals

Three Wairarapa athletes have returned from the New Zealand Special Olympics National Summer Games in Hamilton with some good results.

Josh Taylor, who has been selected for the New Zealand team for the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin, came away with two gold medals and a silver in track and field.

Taylor qualified for the first-division finals in the 200m, 400m, and shot put after finishing first in all of his heats on Saturday. In Sunday’s finals, Taylor won the shot put, was second in the 400m, and fourth in the 200m. He was also part of the Manawatu 4×100 relay team that raced to a resounding win, finishing 6 seconds ahead of the runners-up.

Taylor will now return to training in his buildup to the World Summer Games in Berlin. This trip is self-funded, with Taylor needing to fundraise $16000. He has set up a Facebook page, ‘Josh’s Road to Berlin’, which is tracking his training and has details of fundraising events.

Greytown’s Tom Morland was a member of the Mana basketball team who finished runners-up in the division two competition. Mana were beaten 40-22 by Tauranga in the final after playing 11 games over three days.

Morland’s next tournament is in Rotorua, and he is targeting a tournament in Australia.

A third Wairarapa representative, Harry Baylis, played football for Hutt Valley finishing fourth in the tough competition.

The multi-day event brought together over 1000 athletes, coaches, and volunteers from across New Zealand to compete in 10 sports across eight venues.

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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