NZ Media Scathing After Kiwis Pull a Shocker in Rio

The Kiwis had a day to forget at this year's Olympic Games.
August 10, 2016, 5:15am
Photo credit: Geoff Burke/USA Today

Described by the New Zealand Herald as "one of the worst in our Olympic history", Kiwis experienced a day to forget in Rio de Janeiro today.

The New Zealand team suffered a slew of hiccups and missed medal and finals opportunities which saw Kiwi media get pretty damn bleak on it.

"Disaster. Blackness. Dark, dark, dark. Breakfast has never tasted worse," Stuff's Kevin Norquay wrote.

"Talk about hurtling back to earth with a mighty crash; New Zealand's high spirits after winning two silver medals on consecutive days in Rio are a distant memory this morning after a shocker across the board," NZ Herald journo David Leggat said.

Unsurprisingly, the moment that hurt Kiwis the most occurred in the rugby.

The New Zealand men's sevens team were conquered 14-12 by minnows Japan in their opening pool match; an upset of massive proportions even on the relative balanced playing field that is sevens footy these days.

To rub salt in the wound, All Black superstar Sonny Bill Williams partially tore his Achilles tendon during the match. He'll be out for the rest of Olympics, and will miss up to nine more months of All Blacks and Super Rugby duties.

In equestrian, the legendary Sir Mark Todd needed a clear round in the showjumping for New Zealand to secure team gold. His horse—Leonidas—had only knocked down one barrier in the last two years.

Yet down came four barriers when he rode, and back went New Zealand into fourth. "One of the biggest lows in my career," Sir Mark—New Zealand's oldest Olympian in Rio—said afterwards.

Has anyone compiled a list of the times showjumping woes have cost New Zealand medals? I swear this happens at almost every Olympics.

— Mathew Grocott (@mathewgrocott)August 10, 2016

The Football Ferns—New Zealand's womens football team—lost 3-0 to France to be kicked out of the Games, while the Kiwi men's hockey team's loss to Spain means they'll need wins against Brazil and Belgium in their final pool games—and plenty of prayer—to make their quarterfinals.

Meanwhile in rowing, New Zealand's favourite and most profitable Olympic pursuit, two-time world champs Zoe Stevenson and Eve McPharland were knocked out in the semis of the women's double sculls.

Norquay attempted to put it all in context on Stuff.

"It's called sport. It's not a disaster. It's how things roll at the Olympics, be the best you can be or lose," he says.

There were some points of light for New Zealand.

Single scullers Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg made it through to their respective finals, as did super pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray.

Overnight, in the women's road time trial, Linda Villumsen is a reasonable chance for a podium finish, while slalom kayaker Mike Dawson has the skill to make it through to his final.

There will be far better days ahead. Maybe it's good to get this bad one in the bag early?