14 Feb 2010

Disappointing start for NZers at Winter Olympics

6:06 pm on 14 February 2010

Three New Zealanders competed on the opening day of the Winter Games in Vancouver, with disappointing results.

Speed skater Shane Dobbin finished 17th in the 5000 metres while the short-track speed skater, Blake Skjellerup, failed to advance beyond the heats of the men's 1500 metres.

Sarah Murphy finished 82nd out of 88 in the women's 7.5 kilometre sprint biathlon at Whistler, nearly four minutes behind the winner, Anastasia Kuzmira of Slovakia.

A top 60 finish would have seen her qualify for the 10 kilometre pursuit on Wednesday.

Winter Sports high performance manager Ashley Light says Murphy skied well but shooting let her down.

New Zealand has 16 competitors at the games, but no New Zealanders are in action tomorrow.

Georgian luger pulls out

The team-mate of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who was killed in a training accident on Friday, has withdrawn from the Vancouver Games reports the BBC.

Levan Gureshidze pulled out before the event at the Whistler Sliding centre on Saturday following the death of 21-year-old Kumaritashvili.

The event went ahead after safety changes were made to the track.