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'Really embarrassed for how I acted' - Kiwi mountain biker Sam Gaze apologises after accusing teammate of poor sportsmanship

Kiwi mountain biker Sam Gaze has apologised to teammate and compatriot Anton Cooper, following accusations of poor sportsmanship during the Commonwealth Games cross country final this afternoon.

Gaze, 22, recovered from a punctured tyre on the penultimate lap of the race, before powering home to take out the gold medal, while Cooper finished second to claim silver.

However, with Cooper quick to pass Gaze by going hard on the bike following the incident, the gold medallist accused his compatriot of poor sportsmanship.

Sam Gaze and Anton Cooper took out the men’s cross country race this afternoon. Source: TVNZ | Commonwealth Games

Taking to Facebook, Gaze released a statement apologising to Cooper and the New Zealand public.

"I'm a competitive guy and when I had that issue with my bike I thought my dream was over. I reacted badly and want to apologise for my words and my actions. I am really embarrassed for how I acted and how the impact of how special of a day it was for New Zealand Cycling was tainted by my actions," he wrote.

New Zealand's Samuel Gaze gestures in the transition area after suffering a puncture. Cycling - Mountain Biking. Nerang Mountain Bike Trails. Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Thursday 12 April 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand's Sam Gaze gestures in the transition area after suffering a puncture. Source: Photosport

"I respect Anton and his ability to race hard and fast and I regret the way that I spoke right after the race. He is an incredible rider and together we put on a really exciting race today. I was proud that we could finish one-two again like we did in Glasgow and am grateful for the talent we are growing in New Zealand.

"I have caught up with Anton and apologised personally, but I wanted to let the NZ Team here on the Gold Coast and the NZ public know that I acted in the heat of the moment and will work on making sure this type of action doesn’t happen again. Thanks for everyone’s support. I am sorry that my actions have affected the public's view of how really special these Games have been."

The Kiwi and compatriot Anton Cooper took out the top two spots this afternoon. Source: TVNZ | Commonwealth Games


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