Sil­ver on world stage

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - PETRICE TAR­RANT

Burn­ing lungs and sear­ing mus­cle pain is a small price to pay for a sil­ver medal on the out­rig­ger ca­noe world stage.

Es­pe­cially when years old.

Well that’s what Mata­mata’s very own Theo Vale thought as he went neck and neck with a Cana­dian com­peti­tor in his fi­nal race at the IVF Va’a World Elite & Club Sprint Cham­pi­onships.

‘‘I was go­ing for gold I guess you could say,’’ Vale said of his ef­forts in the 500 me­tre sprint which took place on Lake Kawana on Sun­shine Coast.

And he al­most had it but on re­view of the photo fin­ish the fierce com­peti­tor clocked in just one tenth of a sec­ond be­hind Canada’s John Roberts.

And in a bit­ter sweet an­nounce­ment, that also placed him one tenth of a sec­ond be­hind the new world record for that age group.

‘‘[Roberts] said he was happy the race wasn’t 10 me­tres longer,’’ ac­cord­ing to Vale whose fin­ish­ing time of 2.47.72 was also a per­sonal best

‘‘I was wor­ry­ing about an Aus­tralian guy...he beat me in the heats ac­tu­ally...but we were al­ways told to keep an eye on the end flag...don’t start look­ing across at the other guy be­cause you can lose fo­cus.’’

So when he crossed the fin­ish line he re­ally had no idea how he had faired, and the mixed views from sup­port­ers didn’t help ei­ther.

‘‘It all de­pended on where you were stand­ing,’’ he said.

Vale was also part of the six man New Zealand over 70s team that placed sixth over­all in the team cat­e­gory.

Mata­mata’s Frank Row­son was one of two who car­ried the New Zealand flag in for the open­ing cer­e­mony.

Train­ing will con­tinue for Vale you’re 73 who said he has been ad­vised to stick at it for the 2018 World Cham­pi­onships which will be held in Tahiti.

‘‘In the mean­time we want a bit more blood in our team, any­one from 68 on­wards, they will qual­ify in two years time.’’

Theo Vale, 73, took out sec­ond place in the IVF Va’a World Elite & Club Sprint Cham­pi­onships 2016, clock­ing in just one tenth of a sec­ond be­hind Canada’s John Roberts.

Theo Vale tack­les the 500m sprint with a per­sonal best time.

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