Rio ace for Q’town coach
To be given the opportunity to go to the Olympics is ‘‘a big honour’’, and Queenstown tennis coach Lan Bale plans to make the most of it.
The 46-year-old found out two weeks ago his New Zealand doubles team of Mike Venus and Marcus Daniell had made the cut.
Bale said it was going to be a ‘‘bigger buzz’’ than a normal tennis tournament.
‘‘Coaching guys playing for New Zealand at the Olympics is a big opportunity,’’ he said.
‘‘Being part of the show is going to be something really memorable.’’
Bale was nominated by employer Tennis New Zealand to coach Venus and Daniell following an illustrious playing career including making the quarter finals of Wimbledon with doubles partner Brett Steven in 1994.
Despite the Kiwi pair having a combined world ranking of 107th, Bale expected them to play well.
‘‘They wouldn’t be a big favourite, but that often doesn’t mean too much.
‘‘These guys are well capable of beating really, really top teams.’’
Bale’s team would compete for the gold medal alongside 31 other teams.
Singles world number one Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray (2) and Rafael Nadal (4) would be competing in the doubles.
The team arrived in Rio on Sunday and the doubles competition starts on August 6.
Queenstown-based tennis coach Lan Bale is in Rio coaching a Kiwi doubles pair.