Four days in to the 2012 London Olympics, New Zealand has won its first medal. The eventing team won bronze after an excellent performance in the team competition; the Herald reports:
New Zealand have won their first medal at the London Olympics after they picked up bronze in the team's competition of the three-day eventing this morning (NZT).It was appropriate it was a team including Mark Todd, because the 56-year-old has now drawn level with canoeists Paul MacDonald and Ian Ferguson as this country's most successful Olympians with five medals.Of course, Todd started the day in the running for another in the individual competition but dropped one rail and also picked up three time penalties in a nervy first round of the show jumping which saw him slip down the field to seventh.A second round of show jumping proved to be fruitless for the Kiwi riders though Andrew Nicholson put in an admirable effort in finishing fourth.Todd seemed to know his chances for an individual medal had gone as the youth and inexperience of his horse Campino showed.
Yesterday's cross country clearly took its toll on the nine-year-old and he couldn't respond."He was trying but his body just said he was really tired," Todd said. "It was disappointing but it could have been a lot worse."We might have had our eyes on [team] gold but it's a tough competition and we have to be happy with the bronze."
Mark Todd really is a fantastic competitor. He may or may not have another Olympics in him, but with 28 years having elapsed since his historic gold medal on Charisma at Los Angeles, he has joined the ranks of our very best Olympians. Though he missed out on an individual medal, he has been an important member of the New Zealand team.
So New Zealand is on the board, and from this point on, there is plenty to look forward to, with our rowers and track cyclists still to go for gold, not to mention Valerie Adams, our best chance to emulate Todd, McDonald and Ferguson in 1984 and 1988 and Peter Snell in 1960 and 1964 with back to back Olympic gold medals.