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New Zealand’s sailors claimed three medals at the Princess Sofia Regatta in Palma, including gold and bronze in the Finn class, to finish as the second-most successful nation at the event.

Andy Maloney won his first major regatta in the Finn class since switching from the Laser to the heavyweight dinghy and Josh Junior was third. Alex Maloney and Molly Meech collected another silver in the 49erFX, following on from their second placing at February's World Cup Series event in Miami.

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Alex Maloney and Molly Meech in action. Photo: Sailing Energy

The three medals saw New Zealand finish level with the United States as the second-most successful nations in Palma behind Great Britain, who snared eight medals.

Andy Maloney went into the double points medal race with a four-point lead over Giles Scott, meaning he needed to finish no worse than two places behind the Olympic champion and four-time world champion. That's exactly how it played out, with Scott winning the race and Maloney finishing third - Junior was sixth.

 “I was mid-pack and had to fight my way back to within a couple of places of him to secure the gold," Maloney said.

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"I was about sixth or seventh at the gate, but sailed a few nice shifts up the second beat, so it was a pretty full-on race with lots going on.

"I managed to just do enough in the end so I'm really happy to come away with that. It's been a really good week."

What made it even more special was seeing Junior also claim bronze. The pair work extremely closely together, believing it will give whichever one of them is selected for next year's Olympics the best chance of success in Tokyo.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke were also in action, placing 7th in their first international 49er race since 2016.

The Princess Sofia Regatta is the first major European event of the season, with more than 1200 competitors in the 10 Olympic classes.

The crews now head to Genoa with the majority of the New Zealand sailors for the next World Cup Series event starting in just over a week.

A host of Kiwi athletes were also in action at the Australian Track and Field Champs.

Teenage sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia won the coveted 100m, to be crowned the fastest man in New Zealand and Australia.

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The 17-year-old clocked a time of 10.19s in the semi-final, the fourth fastest time ever by a New Zealander.

In the 400m hurdles Portia Bing ran a career best time of 55.82s to qualify for the Athletics World Championships in Doha.

 

Tom Walsh also signalled a return to top form. Walsh threw 21.91m, a world best outdoor throw for 2019.

Meanwhile the All Blacks sevens were beaten by a fired-up Argentinean side to finish 6th at the Hong Kong Sevens.

New Zealand went down 14-12 against France in their quarterfinal to be relegated to the fifth-place playoffs.

The All Blacks Sevens will be back in action next week at the Singapore leg of the tournament.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Molly Meech Alexandra Maloney
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