What a great effort by the Kiwi's at the World Rowing Champs and the World Athletic Champs. Valerie Vili is a legend. She has now won a big one! To win the world shot put champs is utterly incredible. She used to belong to the same athletics club as my daughters; in fact she presented their awards at a recent athletics awards. She is wonderful athlete. Kimberley Smith is also brilliant. 5th in the world on the track up against the African middle distance athletes is sensational! Nick Willis and Nina Rolsten did brilliantly as well; 10th and 13th. New Zealanders have no idea how amazing these performances are! Way to go! These athletes are all incredibly inspirational to my girls who all race for Auckland and hopefully soon for NZ. Go NZ!
And what about the rowing! Fantastic. Mahe Drysdale is brilliant. 3 World championships in a row is absolutely amazing. If he can add gold in Beijing next year, he is truly one of the very greats of NZ sport. By the time he and Valerie are finished I think they will both be on the list for sure! The other rowing gold winners (Kiwi Coxless Four of Carl Meyer, James Dallinger, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond and Duncan Grant in the lightweight sculls) are also amazing. Especially brilliant are the Four who beat one of the most incredible field every coming from last to first! The Ever-Swindell Twins and Twaddle and Bridgewater are also fantastic. I wouldn't write either team off for next year! Being an avid competitive indoor rower, I know a little of the pain these guys go through. They are freaks!
I am sure if the AB's win the world cup as I hope they do; I am sure they will win the ultimate Halberg award; but in the sober light of day considering the competition, I think Mahe and Valerie both had more to beat and a stiffer task to win their golds. I would give it to Valerie actually, in that rowing is not such a global sport.
One other thing; I love Valerie Vili's name because you can spin it around; Go Vilarie Vale!