Olympic Optimism



  • Been thinking about starting medal chance speculation thread when I saw this headline in the NZ Herald:NZ tipped to win 11 golds in Rio
    After finishing laughing i clicked on the link.
    Unfortunately it was
    By Chris RattueBut surprisingly he was not on the wind up merely reporting on a report in another newspaper about some other mob's predictions.
    11 would be a ridiculous number of golds to win. Given our best ever (realistically when everyone turned up) was 6 last time, or 8 if you count the Non-Commie Olympics in '84.
    However read the below and let us know what you think.
    I think Infostrada may be touch optimistic on our behalf.
    New Zealand will have its finest Olympic gold medal haul in Rio and crack the top 10 list for just the second time.
    That's the exciting - and perhaps over-excited - prediction being made by a "sports data company" called Infostrada whose latest virtual gold medal list has been published on Britain's Telegraph news site.
    The report predicts New Zealand will finish 9th on the gold medal list with 11 and score 23 medals overall, significantly more than the 14-plus medals targeted by High Performance Sport New Zealand. The medal predictor reckons the USA will finish top with 43 golds in the August Games, followed by China, Russia and Australia.
    Unsurprisingly, HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann regards such predictions "with a grain of salt" and emphasised how tough it was to succeed at the Olympics.
    Baumann - who knows all about competing at the top of world sport - agreed it was nice to hear such an optimistic appraisal of New Zealand sport.
    "But I wouldn't want to over-cook it...we need to manage expectations," said Baumann, who won two swimming gold medals for Canada in world record times at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
    "I relate it to politics, and all the polls that are held in advance. It's who wins the election that counts."
    Baumann said caution was needed when using lead-up performances because athletes were not always at their peak in pre-Olympic meetings, and in a sport like cycling technology advances might be kept under wraps.
    An obvious case in point is Tom Walsh, who won the world indoor title in Oregon this year. Walsh, who is tagged with a gold medal in the virtual table, won in a field missing a few of the world's best.
    Still, Baumann was hoping the top ranked Kiwis would do a little better than in London. New Zealand went into the last Olympics with 21 competitors ranked in the world top three on 2011 results, and emerged with 13 medals.
    "Our conversion rate in London was a little low to my mind - it should be 65 to 70 per cent."
    New Zealand's best Olympic gold haul came at Los Angeles in 1984, when a boycott by eastern bloc countries (in retaliation for the American-led boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games) skewed the results. Led by the golden generation of canoeists, New Zealand topped the podium eight times, and finished 8th on the gold medal table.
    New Zealand has some outstanding gold medal prospects for Rio this year and particularly on the water where canoeist Lisa Carrington, sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and rowing pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are supreme.
    World golf number one Lydia Ko, who will want to avoid any water, will also be a hot favourite.
    But New Zealand's rugby sevens teams have had erratic results and might not be the hot gold medal prospects they once were.
    The Infostrada predictor believes shot put superstar Val Adams, who is returning from injuries, will claim a bronze medal.
    NZ's predicted gold medallists
    Tom Walsh (shot put),
    Lisa Carrington (canoe 200m/500m),
    Cycling sprint team
    Lydia Ko (golf)
    Women double sculls - Zoe Stevenson/Eve Macfarlane
    Women lightweight double sculls - Julia Edward/Sophie MacKenzie
    Mens rowing pair - Eric Murray/Hamish Bond
    Rugby sevens (men and women)
    Mens 49ers sailing
    NZ's top gold medal hauls
    8: 1984 - Los Angeles (8th on gold medal table)
    6: 2012 - London (13th)
    3: 2008 - Beijing (19th); 2004 - Athens (20th); 1996 - Atlanta (21st); 1988 - Seoul (15th); 1964 - Tokyo (11th).Anyone else in contention for medals generally?
    Link http://m.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11624571



  • BTW I think 3 is par for us.



  • Medal tables are nationalistic dick waving of the worst kind
    I hope we win heaps



  • Me too cobber!



  • Looks like they're predicting that any NZer with a reasonable shot at winning, will win.
     
    Lots of those events need some luck - if half of those predicted to win gold actually do win, I'll be surprised.
     
    I'd put $10 on Bond and Murray, though!



  • Me too cobber!

    Shit if the pool goes well you won't be able to turn around in this country without getting hit in the face by a medal table (ordered by golds or total medals, which ever looks best)



  • Looks like they're predicting that any NZer with a reasonable shot at winning, will win.
     
    Lots of those events need some luck - if half of those predicted to win gold actually do win, I'll be surprised.
     
    I'd put $10 on Bond and Murray, though!

    Yeah, seems pretty stupid. Bond and Murray are the only real sure thing we've got, the others have a good or even very good shot but anything can still happen.



  • Shit if the pool goes well you won't be able to turn around in this country without getting hit in the face by a medal table (ordered by golds or total medals, which ever looks best)

    Yeah. The pool is a fucking rort. But the Yanks wanted it that way...



  • Very, very worried about the men's Sevens program. Titch should have been more open to guys coming into the set up later like previous Commonwealth Games.



  • Very, very worried about the men's Sevens program. Titch should have been more open to guys coming into the set up later like previous Commonwealth Games.
    Can't agree with that, leaves too much up in the air. Look at Messam, he's completely lost and used to be an absolute gun. Williams looks average. Why leave it open to 50/50?



  • If we win 7s they should count the number of individual gold medals handed out, then we'll waste our old record!



  • I'm guessing somewhere from 4-6 Gold but an overall medal tally of around 12



  • Can't agree with that, leaves too much up in the air. Look at Messam, he's completely lost and used to be an absolute gun. Williams looks average. Why leave it open to 50/50?

    Yeah, I have to admit I underestimated the difference between 15s and 7s. My initial thinking was any of the AB loosies or backs would waltz into 7s and run riot. But the positional play is just so important when there's only 6 other blokes on the field with you - SBW and Messam are really struggling with this, whereas the more experienced 7s players have a knack of being in the right place at the right time.



  • Yeah, I have to admit I underestimated the difference between 15s and 7s. My initial thinking was any of the AB loosies or backs would waltz into 7s and run riot. But the positional play is just so important when there's only 6 other blokes on the field with you - SBW and Messam are really struggling with this, whereas the more experienced 7s players have a knack of being in the right place at the right time.
    SBW less so than Messam which is a surprise. But just shows how much it's changed since he was king (Messam). It's played much shallower now and there's absolutely no resting.



  • 7's is a lottery but we should have the best squad, I think. Deserve to be favourites but probably only about a 1 in 3 chance of gold.
     
    Ko is the best female golfer in the world but she probably has what? a 15-20% chance of gold?



  • I have my fingers crossed that the experience of Titch will see us hitting things just right. The World Series has been a funny beast this year with teams taking very different approaches and trying tactics/players all over the show.
     
    NZ in particular has being playing a long game and Titch will have a good idea of who he wants and how he will utilise them.
     
    Of the injuries Ben Lam looks to be the biggest blow and there may need to be an adjustment to the final game style. The one that worked really well (and has been shelved since) is to use some hard hit ups in the centre followed by a quick side to side with power on the outside from Akira and Lam.
     
    The final selection will be interesting. With only 12 players it will be very important not to carry any niggles into the tournament or you can find yourself short staffed and an extra time game can take the stuffing out of the frontline.
     
    My guess is a 6 forward, 5 back, Mikkleson squad
     
    I think these guys are locked in (barring injury)
     
     
    Forwards: Forbes, SBW, A Ioane,
     
    Backs: Kaka, Pulu (we need two playmakers), R Ioane,
     
    Mikkleson
     
    Then (my guess bold)
     
    Forwards (3 from): Messam, Curry, A Savea, Collier, Dickson
     
    Backs (2 from): Baker, Ware, Webber (is he injured?), Ahki
     
    The others used this year come into contention as backups. Messam or Dickson a hard call.



  • Tom Walsh (shot put), in the mix but not the clear favourite
    Lisa Carrington (canoe 200m/500m), Clear favourite - expect 1 gold, hope for 2.
    Cycling sprint team  a good chance but not certainties
    Lydia Ko (golf) the favourite but golf too random to expect gold
    Women double sculls - Zoe Stevenson/Eve Macfarlane no idea
    Women lightweight double sculls - Julia Edward/Sophie MacKenzie no idea
    Mens rowing pair - Eric Murray/Hamish Bond very likely
    Rugby sevens (men and women) Aus favourites for women, too close to call for men.
    Mens 49ers sailing very likely
     
    Still a chance that Val will improve enough to take gold, it wouldn't be a huge surprise as the distances aren't special.
    Are there any other cyclists with a chance?



  • Ware has been up and down. If Webber is fit in time than I'd bring him straight in. Otherwise I'd take Molia over Ware.



  • Here's the full list
    Athletics
    M Shot Put T. Walsh
    Canoe Sprint
    W K1 200m L. Carrington
    Canoe Sprint
    W K1 500m L. Carrington
    Cycling - Track
    M Team Sprint NZL
    Golf
    W Individual L. Ko
    Rowing
    W Double Sculls Stevenson/MacFarlane
    Rowing
    W Lightweight Double Sculls Edward/Mackenzie
    Rowing
    M Pair Murray/Bond
    Rugby Sevens
    M Team NZL
    Rugby Sevens
    W Team NZL
    Sailing
    M 49er Burling/Tuke
    Silver
    Cycling - Road
    W Individual time trial L. Villumsen
    Cycling - Track
    M Keirin E. Dawkins
    Rowing
    M Lightweight Four NZL
    Rowing
    W Pair Prendergast/Gowler
    Rowing
    M Single Sculls M. Drysdale
    Sailing
    W 470 Aleh/O. Powrie
    Swimming
    W 800m Freestyle L. Boyle
    Bronze
    Athletics
    W Shot Put V. Adams
    Cycling - Track
    M Team Pursuit NZL
    Rowing
    W Eight NZL
    Rowing
    W Single Sculls E. Twigg
    Sailing
    M 470 Willcox/Snow-Hansen



  • Carrington got silver in the K1 500m at latest event, isn't this her main event? First loss (or not 1st) in a long time?



  • Carrington got silver in the K1 500m at latest event, isn't this her main event? First loss (or not 1st) in a long time?

    Nope.  Her main event is the K1 200, which she won the day before and hasn't been beaten in a long time.  Danuta Kozák has been the dominant paddler in the K1 500 for some time.  I watched the race live and Carrington wasn't far behind and was gaining.  The difficulty for Carrington will be juggling the two events.



  • ah ok, that's cool then 🙂 I thought the longer even was her preferred one.
     
    Yeah I knew she had won the 200m the day before, just don't hear much news that this girl loses (well doesn't win)
     
    Yeah the Hungarian girl is the current Olympic champion.



  • I'm doubtful at this stage if the NZ 7s can even medal. Even with SBW and the Ioanes they luck star power. Time to gamble on true x-factor like a Damien McKenzie seeing as he'll be surplus to Hansen's requirements.



  • Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Our current team has been killed by injuries (and on a lesser note, the Ioane's going back and forth between forms). The NZRU hasn't ruled out adding new players even after the Super season ends so fuck it, send up the SOS and give that kid a parachute.



  • And while we're at it, the Warriors must know for Shaun Johnson's own professional wellbeing he needs to take a sabbatical from the Warriors woeful season. And where better to take a break than the sunny beaches of Rio.



  • Would D.Macs brilliant attacking skills out way his woeful defence? Would 7s highlight this deficiency more, or could he get away with it?



  • His defence is fine. He's no Mils but he's also no Dagg or Barrett.
     
    In other Olympics news, Val's back! Great fucking news especially after last night's disaster:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/304506/adams-wins-in-season-opener



  • I reckon with the open space his pace would paper over any of the cracks in his defence.



  • Would D.Macs brilliant attacking skills out way his woeful defence? Would 7s highlight this deficiency more, or could he get away with it?

    He'd defend as a sweeper surely, Serevei styles. Chase 'em down and drag them down.



  • Huge amount of luck in 7's. We lost to the USA because in the 2nd half we couldn't even catch a kick off and had no ball. It wasn't the lack of an out and out freak. Fiji have been the best team all series but only won 3 out of the 10 tournaments so if that continues they only have a 30% of winning gold. We actually won 3 tournaments as well which is a promising sign.



  • I'm amazed TR is commenting on this thread given it's origin.
     
    Fiji are a real shot to win their first EVER medal so would be decent for them if they could. I guess there's lot's of "crap countries" to quote Ali G who'll never get one so this is a massive chance for them.



  • pretty sure I dont need to read anything written by your dad to know about the NZ Olympic prospects, but I appreciate your concern...



  • He'd defend as a sweeper surely, Serevei styles. Chase 'em down and drag them down.He's not quick enough to do that. There's plenty of pace in 7s.



  • He's not quick enough to do that. There's plenty of pace in 7s.

    DMac would be quick enough.  Cama was never lightning fast when he played as a sweeper and Kaka would not be any quicker than DMac either, and isn't a great defender himself.



  • His defence is fine. He's no Mils but he's also no Dagg or Barrett.
     
    In other Olympics news, Val's back! Great fucking news especially after last night's disaster:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/304506/adams-wins-in-season-opener

    DMac currently misses one out of every three attempts. He actually makes Dagg and Barrett look like solid defenders.



  • DMac is so slippery he would make a great Sevens player until the opposition adjusted their defences to shut him down. Ben Smith likewise.



  • And while we're at it, the Warriors must know for Shaun Johnson's own professional wellbeing he needs to take a sabbatical from the Warriors woeful season. And where better to take a break than the sunny beaches of Rio.

    Stop fucking about. Richie must be fit as buggery after his week of ultra-sporting and is sitting in a hot-tub waiting for Mitch's phone call.
     
    Sorry, that should be Titch's phone call!



  • DMac would be quick enough.  Cama was never lightning fast when he played as a sweeper and Kaka would not be any quicker than DMac either, and isn't a great defender himself.

    I'm not convinced, but Cama had that knowledge about where to be. Kaka is now getting that same feel for the game. Regardless of Damien's defence or pace, he couldn't hope to replicate the game knowledge in the time available.Sevens is no longer XVs rugby minus the tight five and some backs.
    I'd expect that's why Titch wanted players to play the series.



  • I'm definitely not saying that DMac could suddenly become a sevens players now, just that he has the speed, skill and footwork that could make him a very good sevens player in the future.
     
    I agree with your last point, which is why Titch wasn't going to give any concessions to B Smith, Barrett, Savea etc.



  • I'll freely confess to not watching a lot of Sevens but can someone explain the nuances of how it has changed so much in the last few years ?
     
    I remember in 98 when the firepower of Jonah, Cully, Vidiri, Randle, Reihana and ahem...Ralph were shoehorned into the team alongside old specialists like Rush and Seymour and it was a case of give them the Gold medal now, which they did........
     
    There was talk on here last year of getting Read, SBW, Messam, Savea x 2 and Barrett and doing the same which obviously isn't going to happen.


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