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Rugby Sevens

The Black Ferns Sevens have won their fourth straight World Series tournament, taking the Sydney Sevens title at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday. 

The Kiwi women beat Canada 33-7 after the final was initially delayed due to thunderstorms and torrential rain. 

But the delays didn't stop New Zealand nabbing their 19th consecutive win on the World Series circuit, with the team holding a 16-point lead at the top of the standings with three tournaments remaining. 

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Canada made a strong start in the final, making a break early in the match, before Michaela Blyde made a brilliant try saving tackle.

From there it didn’t take long for the Black Ferns Sevens to open the scoring, with Tyla Nathan-Wong finding space to score under the posts. Canada struck back through the dangerous Charity Williams however, a brilliant dummy from Gayle Broughton saw her score right on halftime to give the Black Ferns Sevens a 14-7 halftime lead.

 It took three minutes into the second spell for New Zealand to strike again, this time through Niall Williams. The flood gates then opened up with Theresa Fitzpatrick busting her way over the try line and Alena Saili sealing the deal with the Black Ferns Sevens’ fifth and final try right on full time.

Meanwhile the men's team finished in fifth place after losing to Fiji in pool play.

 

Hockey

Olivia Merry has become the all-time leading goalscorer for the Black Sticks women as she propelled the side to its first win of the Pro-League season.

The 27-year-old found the back of the net four times as her team beat Belgium 4-0 on Sunday.

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The win followed the Black Sticks 2-1 loss to Belgium the day before, in which veteran players Gemma McCaw and Kayla Whitelock returned to the side.

Merry has now 106 goals for the Black Sticks.

Meanwhile the men’s side lost both its fixtures against Belgium, going down 6-2 and 3-1.

Both Black Sticks teams will face Great Britain in a pair of double-headers at the National Hockey Centre next weekend.

 

Weightlifting

David Liti has kept his bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020 on track, winning a bronze medal at the Roma 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournament.

Competing in the men’s super-heavyweight division, Liti hoisted 215kg in the clean-and-jerk for the third placing.

In the snatch he lifted 173kg to place fifth, with the combined total of 388kg placing him fourth overall.

 

Canoe Slalom

New Zealand paddler Luuka Jones has been forced to settle for silver at the Oceania canoe slalom championships in Auckland.

In the final Jones was on track for an impressive upset but mistimed a stroke on the bottom drop and was relegated to second, just 0.49secs behind Australian Jess Fox.

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"I watched Jess's run from the top and knew it was 2secs faster than my semi time - I quite like the feeling of having to step up and put something good down," Jones said.

The pair will meet again today in the C1 final.

 

BMX

Te Awamutu rider Rebecca Petch has made an emphatic start the 2020 UCI BMX World Cup Supercross circuit, placing 11th overall in her second Supercross final in Australia.

Petch, New Zealand’s top ranked rider at 21 in the world, made it through to the semifinals in the opening round of the vital 2020 Supercross World Cup in the new venue of Shepparton, in Victoria.

She has helped the New Zealand women’ team rise to seventh on the UCI world rankings, just two spots off qualifying a second rider for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

North Harbour’s Michael Bias also enjoyed an outstanding first day, making it through to the quarterfinals of the men’s competition and finishing 17th overall.

 

Gymnastics

Rio Olympian Courtney McGregor has sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon, ruling her out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

McGregor, who lives in the US, was injured on her first vault of the 2020 University season.

“I knew as soon as I punched the board because I felt a pop,” McGregor said.

“I did a half twist so I didn’t have to land and then I was just kind of sitting there on my butt and I knew.”

McGregor competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she finished 13th in the vault.

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