Morning Briefing Aug 4: Gold medals and officiating blunders in Tokyo

While Lisa Carrington is on track to becoming NZ's greatest ever Olympian, a bizarre men's shot put qualifying event "takes years off" Kiwi Tom Walsh's life.

Day 11 of the Tokyo Olympics has seen several more medals added to New Zealand’s tally and some heart-stopping scenes for a Kiwi hopeful in the men’s shot put qualifying. 

Canoe sprinter Lisa Carrington powered her way to two gold medals yesterday, backing up her K1 200m victory with a win in the K2 500m alongside Caitlin Regal.

Those efforts see her join Ian Ferguson, Paul MacDonald, and Sir Mark Todd as the only New Zealanders to have won five Olympic medals.

As Newsroom’s Ashley Stanley writes, Carrington put in a “gigantic and taxing” effort yesterday, winning two semi-finals and two finals in two different boats all within four hours.

And she’s not done yet - Carrington has more medal races to come in Tokyo, meaning she could become New Zealand’s greatest ever Olympian. 

Other Kiwis also made it on to the Olympic podium yesterday, with sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke winning silver in the 49er event, while boxer David Nyika was confirmed as a bronze medal winner following his defeat in the men’s heavyweight semi-final.

And there was high drama for Kiwi shot putter Tom Walsh last night, who battled with officials all through his qualifying event.

Walsh looked set for a premature departure from the Games after his final throw was initially ruled a foul, but he eventually qualified top of his group after demanding a review.

Walsh, who now joins fellow Kiwi Jacko Gill in the final, says the situation “definitely took a few years off” his life.  

Meanwhile, US gymnast Simone Biles has won bronze after returning to competition last night.

She earned her seventh career Olympic medal by nailing a slightly watered-down version of her usual balance beam routine in front of a crowd that included IOC President Thomas Bach.

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Queensland cases swell

Brisbane’s Covid cluster grew by another 16 cases yesterday, with Queensland officials warning the state is on the verge of a “large outbreak”. The west Brisbane Delta cluster has now grown from one to 47 cases in four days. 

Meanwhile, details of New South Wales’ recovery roadmap out of lockdown have started to emerge but state premier Gladys Berejiklian says it’s still too soon to confirm details of what restrictions will be eased and when.

Her comments come as more than 180 new exposure sites around Sydney were revealed last night. 

Big step for NZ's cannabis products

The first New Zealand-made medicinal cannabis products could be in pharmacies before Christmas.

Medicinal cannabis company Helius Therapeutics has become the first firm to receive a licence to begin production, a move that’s been welcomed by the Green Party’s drug law reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick.   

Helius Therapeutics CEO Carmen Doran says the company still needs to work with the Medicinal Cannabis Agency to ensure they’re meeting New Zealand's quality standards, but she says they expect locally made products to be available this year.

The company’s Auckland factory is the largest medicinal cannabis facility in New Zealand with the capacity to grow 100,000 plants and turn them into medicines.

Kiwis keen on EVs 

The Government has dished out millions of dollars to buyers of electric vehicles and hybrids in the first month of a rebate scheme designed to get more environmentally friendly cars on the road.

Figures released to 1 NEWS reveal 1422 applications for the rebate have been received in the first month, with more than 1000 of those approved.

It comes as almost every electric car model available new in New Zealand saw an uptick in sales over the same time period.

Class action ends

A $220 million class action against building giant James Hardie has ended with no compensation for homeowners.

More than 1000 homeowners were seeking compensation from the company, alleging it knowingly sold them defective cladding known as Harditex.

A 17-week trial was underway but yesterday it was revealed a settlement had been reached where the case will be discontinued. The homeowners' lawyer called the result a disappointing outcome.

Other news of note this morning:

- Wuhan will begin testing its entire population for Covid-19 as the Delta variant begins to spread through the city. 

- Around 100,000 AstraZeneca vaccines funded by New Zealand are arriving in Fiji as the country reports another 1100 new cases of the coronavirus.  

- Police minister Poto Williams says she's had to reassure family she is safe after Judith Collins suggested a lot of people wanted to "bottle her"

- The Reserve Bank is consulting on ways to tighten mortgage lending, following an update to the agreement between the Government and the Reserve Bank on addressing housing issues. 

- A New Zealand navy officer has been accused of conspiring to import cocaine following one of the biggest international crime busts in modern times.

- All other parties in Parliament have rubbished National's suggestion a referendum should be held on whether New Zealand should be called Aotearoa.

- Sailing and cycling headline Day 12 of the Tokyo Olympics

- And it’s been a big pay day for Reese Witherspoon, who’s just sold her content company Hello Sunshine for a reported $1.2 billion.                          

And finally...

Source: 1 NEWS

Seven Sharp presenter Hilary Barry was challenging her critics last night after a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling came back in her favour.

A complaint was made to the BSA after Barry suggested those who don’t want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 hop on a boat to the Auckland Islands for a few years. The BSA found her comments didn’t breach any standards.

Barry has encouraged others to come forward with their complaints, because “there’s so much on this show to complain about” – but she kindly requests to be referred to as Mrs Barry rather than Ms Barry in any future correspondence. Please and thank you!