New Zealand sailors battle back a hard-earned silver at Rio

August 22, 2016 by Keren Cook
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New Zealand yachting produced a stand out performance on the final day of the Rio Olympics regatta, taking three medals, including gold.

Jo Alah and Po Gowring Photo: Faceboox A medal selfie picture "Nothing like having to fight for it....Happy and tired, thank you to everyone who has sent such amazing messages of support. The medal is not just mine, it's all of ours..."

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie Photo: Faceboox A medal selfie picture
“Nothing like having to fight for it….Happy and tired, thank you to everyone who has sent such amazing messages of support. The medal is not just mine, it’s all of ours…”

Jo Aleh, a member of Auckland’s Jewish community,  and Polly Powrie opened the proceedings on Gunabara Bay on Friday (NZ time) and won a hard-earned silver in the women’s 470’s.

The race demonstrated their world-class performance in the 470s.  Both sailors completed an incredible comeback after enduring 2 disqualifications that ended their hopes of defending the gold medal they won in London four years ago.

Aleh and Powrie battled back to enter the medal race in second place on the point’s table.

They sailed a strong, breezy finish, to cross the line third in the double points medal race, to qualify for well-earned silver – beating their rivals from the United States, France and Japan.

Closer to home, Aleh was born in Auckland and is of Jewish descent.  In her early years she began a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland. Sailing soon became a priority and her studies fitted around her sport.

In 2013, Aleh was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to sailing.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of Jo Aleh, a member of the Auckland Jewish Community, in winning a silver medal in the Olympics.

“In particular, the manner in which they over came adversities. Congratulations are offered to Jo, Molly and their entire support team,” says New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman.

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