Heroic effort by Kent
Steven Kent didn’t let a dislocated kneecap keep him from winning a medal and helping his Black Fins lifesaving team defend their world title last week.
The Commonwealth Games swimmer, from Titahi Bay, produced a gutsy effort on the fourth day of the competition in the south of France, taking bronze with his team in the men’s tube rescue. He suffered the injury at the start of the event, but ploughed on.
He finished the world champs with one gold ( men’s 200m obstacles, in a world record time) and two bronzes (100m rescue medley and men’s tube rescue).
On day two, the Wellington pairing of Tash Hind and Samantha Lee, along with Natalie Peat ( Papamoa) and Laura Quilter (Wainui), won gold in the women’s board race.
Lee had a fabulous start to the competition on day one, breaking the world mark in the women’s 100m rescue medley to take gold, with Hind fifth.
Lee also won the women’s 200m obstacles and 4 x 50m obstacles relay with Hind, Quilter and Peat.
New Zealand’s 23- point win gave them the Alan Whelpton Trophy for the third time, after wins in 1998 and 2012.
The title was secured in the final event of the day, when New Zealand sprinter Paul CracroftWilson outpaced Australian rival Jake Lynch in the last leg of the men’s team relay.
But the real foundation for vic- tory was laid on the first two days in the pool, when Kent and the Lyall Bay pair of Lee and Hind helped New Zealand rip the heart out of Australia’s challenge.
The swimmers broke three world records, and Lee’s three golds moved her one ahead of Morgan Foster’s six lifesaving golds at world championships.
Hind took home a gold, two silvers and a bronze.
Champions: The successful Black Fins lifesaving team, who defended their world championship title in Montpellier, France, last week.