Triple-gold last day takes NZ to fifth on medal table

New Zealand medalists pose for a photo during the Closing Ceremony for the Gold Coast 2018...
New Zealand medalists pose for a photo during the Closing Ceremony for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Stadium on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. Photo: Getty Images
The last day of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games went almost to plan — New Zealand picking up three more golds and a bronze and lifting to fifth on the medal table.

Only the Silver Ferns netballers missing out on bronze — losing to Jamaica — tarnished yesterday’s  efforts as squash players Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy won the women’s doubles finals before the women’s and men’s sevens sides won a brace of golds at Robina Stadium.

The women’s Black Ferns Sevens extra-time 17-12 win over host and Rio gold medallist Australia was the most thrilling moment, former Dunedinite  Kelly Brazier scoring a heart-stopping match-winner at the end of a nearly 90m run.

"It’s so special to us, our families and our country to be the first gold medallist in women’s rugby at the Commonwealth Games," player Theresa Fitzpatrick said afterwards.

"I guess the last time we played them it was the pinnacle event at the Olympics. We were just a little bit short but I’m really proud of our whole team. It feels so good. We put it all on the field; it feels so good."

Earlier yesterday,  the Tall Blacks got up from a last-gasp loss to Canada on Saturday to beat Scotland for bronze in the men’s basketball.

The three golds meant New Zealand overtook South Africa to be fifth on the medal table with 15 golds, 16 silvers and 15 bronzes after 11 days of competition.

It is the second-best gold-medal haul after the 1990 Games in Auckland (17) and the total of 46 medals sits behind those of only the 1990 Games (58) and  1950 Games (54), also in Auckland.

Australia topped the Gold Coast medal table with 98 golds, followed by England (45), India (26) and Canada (also 15 gold but 82 in total). 

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