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SCOOP Olympic Update 17 9 00

Published: Sun 17 Sep 2000 12:39 PM
SCOOP Olympic Update Sunday, 17 9 00
Article: Mathew Loh
AN exciting start to the games in the form of an extremely close contest in the women's triathlon also heralded the first New Zealand performance with Evelyn Williamson toughing it out after a gut-wrenching swim to finish a disappointing 22nd.
"It was a hard swim and then I was left to do all the work on the bike ( heading the second chase group) and really it was allover after the swim", said Williamson.
After coming within nine seconds of today's gold medalist (Switzerland's Brigette McMahon) recently Williamson was genuinely disappointed with her performance and she wasn' the only NZ athlete to have a hard time on opening day of the 27th modern Olympiad.
While the New Zealand women's hockey team had Kiwis cheering with a come-from-behind 1-1 effort against a powerful German squad the Tall Fern womens basketball team were beaten 75-52 by Poland and both NZ trap shooters - Victor Shaw and Brant Woodward - performed below expectations to finish well down the field.
Other NZ performances included Steven Ferguson, Helen Norfolk and Jonathan Duncan who, while swimming bravely, were simply outclassed in failing to go beyond their respective heats. In the equestrian arena where NZ have high hopes gold medalist Mark Todd ended the first day of dressage in 10th place while in the dojo judoka Brent Crooks suffered a loss in 60 kg bout against an opponent from Azerbaijan.
On a more positive note NZ womens table-tennis duo Karen Li and Li Chun Li overcame early nerves to outclass an American pair 21-16, 21-8 to advance to the next round. NZ hopes will now look to Sunday mornings men's triathlon where Hamish Carter will carry the silver fern on his quest for a gold medal to add to his world championship title.

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