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Wednesday August 23, 2017

SPORT

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NZ record at World First up win for Para Athletics Johnsonville bowlers Junior Champs Libby Leikis, Sport Wellington Pathway to Podium athlete, has achieved a personal best and a New Zealand record at the World Para Athletics Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland earlier this month. The 19-year-old para-sprinter from Karori placed seventh in the under 20 grade T37 200 metres, finishing with 32.54 seconds and breaking the New Zealand record by half a second. Libby started running when she was invited to participate in Athletics with a Disability (AWD) cross country races as a Year 7 student. Then in Year 9 she took part in the Wellington AWD inter-school athletics competition, placing first in the 100m. It wasn’t long before her talent was spotted by Raylene Bates, Athletics NZ high performance para-athlete manager and head coach. “Raylene has been a big influence on my success, she saw me winning races and invited me to attend a talent identification camp for para-athletics” Libby said. Prior to leaving New Zealand for the inaugural Para Athletics World Junior Championships, Libby told Sport Wellington: “It’s really exciting knowing that I’ll be wearing the black singlet representing New Zealand, I hope I do it proud.” Training throughout the cold,

wet, windy Wellington winter has been a challenge but she still finds enjoyment training with her partners. “I train with a really funny and entertaining group of student athletes, we have a good laugh.” Fellow Kiwi para-athletes have been a big inspiration. “I have become really good friends with the para athletics team who went to Rio and London. “I would love to have the success they have had.” Libby is a second year Pathway to Podium athlete. This programme provides access to Les Mills and High Performance Sport New Zealand gyms for strength and conditioning training which has become an important aspect to her training. Through the programme, Libby has learnt more about nutrition, sport psychology, and athlete life, with the latter in particular helping balance a busy training schedule, a nanny course, and important time with friends and family. After competing in the World Junior Championships, Libby plans to do some sightseeing with her family in the Swiss Alps and Italian lakes before heading home. Her next goal is to qualify for the Senior World Championships and hopes to eventually compete in the Paralympic Games.

Waikanae Winter Cup winners from Johnsonville Brady Amer (left), Brent Stubbins, Sy Baker and Rob Veale. PHOTO: Supplied

Johnsonville Bowling Club’s Brent Stubbins, Rob Veale, Sy Baker and Brady Amer won the popular season opener, the 2017 Waikanae Winter Cup, beating the Fielding Club team of Tony Jensen, Stephen Love, Brian Mudgway, and Michael Sinclair 14-4 in the final. The Winter Cup attracted a capacity field of 32 competitive teams of fours that included many centre and national title

winners. Over 128 bowlers travelled f rom Wel l i ng ton, Kapit i Coast, Levin, Feilding and Palmerston North to participate in the annual event. “To win this event for the first time after trying for five years was very satisfying and a wonderful start to the 2017 season,” Brent said. “Much of the credit goes to the two youngsters in the team

Brady Amer and Sy Baker who laid the foundation leading from the front end of the team. “Rob Veale and I just chipped in when necessary.” Brady, who joined Johnsonville Bowling Club last year, is 17 and a star in the making, as is Sy who has already won a National Fours title. A great early season result for the boys and the Johnsonville Bowling Club.

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Sublime to insufferable in 30 minutes

Nineteen-year-old para-sprinter Libby Leikis from Karori. PHOTO: Supplied

It’s hard to describe how sublime the first 50 minutes were of the Bledisloe Cup match last weekend. Equally though, the last 30 from the men in black was some of the worst rugby from the national team in the 21st century. Going into the game, I felt Steve Hansen’s men had lost a bit of their all-conquering aura after the drawn British Lions series and the leaked four tries in the last half an hour made me feel vindicated in that worry. Make no mistake about it, rugby is now a 23-man game.

Being an impact player off the bench is now a specialist position in the team. The All Blacks still have the best starting lineup on the planet by some way but their are some serious cracks in the men riding the pine. Each of those reserves failed to fire in spectacular fashion. Granted, the game was well and truly over as a contest by the time any of them got on the field, but the massive slide in standards and sieve-like defence will be concerning to the coaching staff. Yes, the Wallabies are at a low point in their history, but

the All Blacks failure to be ruthless when they had every opportunity to be so, is a sign this is a new era of the All Blacks. On a side note, Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty are the keys in the backline while Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are the best locking combination in the world. Take any of those four players out of the team and other nations have a sniff of toppling us. Rest in Peace Pinetree. You were a credit to the mantle of the greatest All Black in history and an even more stellar gentleman off it.

Independent Herald 23-08-17  

Independent Herald 23-08-17

Independent Herald 23-08-17  

Independent Herald 23-08-17