Rodney Times : February 23rd 2016
stuff.co.nz FEBRUARY 23, 2016, RODNEY TIMES Passport lost but still has silvermedal ERICA DONALD Nick Egnot-Johnson almost didn’t make it home with his silver medal from the Youth World Sailing Championships in Malaysia earlier this year. Just 15 minutes before boarding the plane home at the Singapore airport the Coatesville resident realised he had lost his passport. ‘‘I had to call theNewZea- land embassy and get permission to fly without it,’’ he says. ‘‘While I was on the phone they were unloading our bags and trying to fly out.’’ He finally made it on the plane, although his passport was still missing. It didn’t dampen his spirits after placing second in the Boy’s 29er with Warkworth resident Jackson Keon. The pair have been sail- ing together for just over a year and say their goal going into the championships was to get a medal. ‘‘We knew if it was windy we would stand a good chance,’’ Keon says. ‘‘We had sailed against the other teams in wind before and knew where we stood.’’ They got lucky and had five days of wind despite Asia being known as a light wind area, Egnot-Johnson says. It turned into a tight com- petition as they lead from the second day. ‘‘It was a close second,’’ Egnot-Johnson says. "We had a chance at having a world championship, but second is still pretty good." The pair took some time off once they returned to New Zealand and are now back into school and training at Murrays Bay Sailing Club. They train on the water up to five times a week and spend a lot of time in the gym and working on their cardio. Egnot-Johnson is starting his Olympic campaign in a new boat, a 49er, which will take up to seven years. He is taking this year to get used to the boat but hopes to compete in the Junior World Championships next year and finish in the top 30 per cent. Keon is back to sailing a 29er, but with a new partner this time. ‘‘My goal is to get a top 10 finish at the Open Worlds in Holland in August, win the Youth Trials again, and represent New Zealand at the Youth World Championships in 2016 in Oman.’’ 19 Nick Egnot-Johnson and Jackson Keon have big plans for their future in sailing. PHOTO: ROBERT HAJDUK/SHUTTERSAIL.COM Ko second at Australian Open Fight night bloods new talent ANDREWVOERMAN Lydia Ko failed to defend her Australian Women’s Open title, finishing three strokes behind winner Haru Nomura at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide. A win would have meant one more on top of a hatrick of achievements in a week, after she took the New Zealand Open the Sunday before, was named 2015 Young New Zealander of the Year on Thursday and then that night took her third Sportswoman of the Year at the Halberg Awards. The world no 1, who started her amateur career on Gulf Harbour Country Club’s greens, began the final round on Sunday one stroke behind a trio of players, including Japan’s Nomura, the world No 67. Although Ko took the out- right lead twice, Nomura always had her number, eventually opening up a twostroke lead with three holes to play that became three strokes by the end. Ko carded five-under in the final round, her best effort of the event, following a pair of two-under efforts on Thursday and Friday and a four-under that put her in contention on Saturday, good enough for 13-under overall and second place, her third top-three finish in a row to start the year. The always positive 18-year-old says her placing was a good start to the season. ‘‘If I had won this week it would have obviously been better, but Haru played amazing golf. I think that’s the thing about this game – there are things that are really out of your hands and all you’ve got to do is just try your best.’’ Ko says she could sense that Nomura was on a hot streak down the home stretch – one that included birdies on five of the final nine holes. ‘‘By the roars I could hear, she seemed like she Lydia Ko dumps water over Australian Women’s Open winner, Haru Nomura, in Adelaide. was holing a lot of putts. When another player does it, it’s really out of my hands.’’ The pair were tied for first as they began the back nine, and it was with a birdie on the 10th that the Japanese moved into the lead she would hold until the end – though Ko did her best to try and chase her down. With Nomura having opened up a two-stroke lead – 15-under to 13-under, just moments earlier, Ko sank a birdie putt on the par-four 16th – a hole she hadn’t shot below par on all event – to ensure the contest would continue for a little while longer. But then Nomura hit straight back, restoring her advantage, and when Ko could only manage par on the 17th, the writing was on the wall. Before Ko could finish the 18th, Nomura had birdied the 17th and teed off on the 18th, her prey within sight. Ko bogeyed the last, and so did Nomura, who finished seven-under for the day and 16-under overall. As Nomura’s final putt sank, Ko was the first to join her celebrations, spraying water over her, and she says Helensville Thai Kickboxing has a real treat for fight fans this Friday with an exciting lineup in the aptly named ‘‘Brawl in the Hall’’ at the Helensville War Memorial Hall. Middleweight Campbell Tapurau will be the main event when he locks horns with Junior Coleman. With big names like Shot- gun Povey, Farmer Fortheringhame and Jake Crane sitting out this event as they prepare for the upcoming Super 8 King of the Ring, promoter Shannan Foreman is using the night to blood some of his young local talent. ‘‘Friday night will be a great opportunity for local guys to showcase their talent,’’ Foreman says, expecting a bumper crowd to pack out the hall. Titi Motusaga will be backing up after his impressive victory over James Vake last year when he clashes with Fau Lam from ETK gym. Giant 125kg 16-year-old Daman Kahu-Heaps is making his much anticipated debut, as is JD ‘The Juggernaut’ Dempsey who is taking on seasoned campaigner Bobby ‘The Cowboy’ Rameka. Chris Heke will battle it out in the cruiserweight division while Andy ‘Crusher’ Cummings faces a big challenge when he slugs it out with 145kg Waitemata heavyweight Matt ‘Blinky’ Anderson. ❚ Doors open at6pm with Elvis tribute artist Jason Payne warming up the crowd with a performance before the first fight at 7pm. Food and beverages will be available, as will door sales of $25 for what promises to be a great night’s entertainment. Shaw claims Coastal Challenge PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES it was great to see Nomura notch her first LPGA win. ‘‘She’s got a great person- ality, so congratulations to her.’’ As the final round began, 23-year-old Nomura was playing in the last group, alongside American Danielle Kang, with Ko in the pairing ahead, alongside South Korean Jenny Shin. That meant Nomura always knew what Ko had done, and thus what she had to do to stay ahead, and as it turned out, she managed to do exactly that, claiming her first LPGA tour win. In the end, it was Nomura, some 66 places below Ko in the world rankings, who prevailed, claiming her first tour win in her sixth season as a pro. Ko says she will not play in this weekend’s LPGA event in Thailand, with the Women’s Champions tournament in Singapore on March 3 her next outing. Nomura had started slowly in the final round, missing birdies that others grabbed in the first few holes, but began to find her mark as she progressed through the front nine, birdying the fifth and sixth and then the ninth. Greg Shaw of Orewa claimed top honours in the over 60s category at the gruelling 33 kilometre Coastal Challenge on Saturday. The race started at Arkles Bay and followed the coastline to Devonport with three swims for runners as they crossed the Wade River, Okura Estuary and Milford Marina. Shaw also beat all the runners in the over 40s and 50s category to claim 10th overall. He would have come in seventh but ‘‘three young brats sprinted past me at the final few metres’’, he says. Shaw finished with a time of 3 hours 45 minutes. Top class riding atWoodhill Aussie raider James Arkins is warming up for the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show in the best way possible. Aboard his New Zealand- bred Rosthwaite Vigilante II he won the Excel Premier League Grand Prix at the Aon Insurance Premier Show at Woodhill Sands in Helensville. He was the only one of the nine strong field to leave his slate clean in the two round competition. Coming in behind him were teen Emily Hayward-Morgan from Te Awamutu aboard AP Ninja and Tash Brookes from Cambridge on her former racehorse Kapattack. The women finished sec- ond equal. Earlier in the show Hayward-Morgan and AP Ninja won the Canterbury Equestrian Young Rider class and aboard her other horse Yandoo Lady Gold, she was second in the Telford Junior Rider class. In the Country TV Pony Grand Prix, Olivia Miller from Te Puke and Kaycee McKay were the only double clears in the 15-strong field, three of whomcame through to the jump-off. Pip Howells was the course designer for the two day show, which attracted more than 450 horses. Greg Shaw took the over 60s title at the Coastal Challenge, claiming 10th overall and beating runners in the two categories below him.
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