Last chance victory sends Twigg to her third Olympic Games

Emma Twigg will make her third Olympic appearance for New Zealand in Rio, after winning the women’s single sculls at the “Last Chance” regatta in Lucerne last week.
Twigg was the only New Zealander who made it through to Rio from Switzerland, after four other Kiwi boats finished agonisingly short of qualifying. The women's and men's quad sculls crews and men's four all finished third in their finals in Lucerne - one place off a qualifying spot for Rio, while the Kiwi lightweight men's double scull also missed out.

Twigg, the 2014 world champion who took a year off to concentrate on her studies, needed a top-four finish in the A final of the women's single scull and did so in convincing style by winning her race.

Four Kiwi triathletes Rio bound

A trio of triathletes – Nicky Samuels, Tony Dodds and Ryan Sissons - will join Andrea Hewitt at the Rio Olympic Games.
Dodds, who overcame injury to realise his Rio dream, is the only first-time Olympian in the line-up. Sissons, now based in Europe building up to Rio, competed at the London Olympic Games finishing 33rd. Samuels finished 35th in the women’s tri in London four years ago, and finished 2014 in the world’s top five.

SAMUELS Credit Delly Carr2
The 34-year-old Hewitt, who was the first athlete named in the 2016 New Zealand team, will compete in her third Games.

Big day out for Kiwi rowers in Lucerne

New Zealand’s formidable rowing team have made a powerful start to their Olympic preparations, hauling in three gold, two silver and two bronze medals from nine finals at the World Cup II regatta in Switzerland.
Among the big winners in Lucerne was single sculler Mahe Drysdale, who came back from being 1.34s down at the halfway point, to beat fierce rival world champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic by 3.22s.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray continued their seven-year unbeaten run in the men’s pairs, while the third gold went to the men's lightweight four, who rowed a perfect race to hold off world champions Switzerland.
The women's pair of Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent won silver before joining the women’s eight crew to take out bronze.

Gate gets Ireland’s green jersey two years’ running

New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate has won the sprinter's green jersey on the Tour of Ireland for the second year in a row.
Gate, riding for his An Post Chain Reaction professional team, ended the eight-day tour sixth overall – having won stage six of the race.

Gate was riding with other members of Cycling New Zealand's endurance track squad, using the tour as part of their preparations towards the Rio Olympic Games. Fellow Kiwi Hayden Roulston rode strongly to finish 18th overall, while Regan Gough was 26th and eighth in the young rider category and Nick Kergozou was 74th.
The New Zealand squad now continue training in Belgium with the final team for Rio selected in early July.

Canoe sprint quartet make big gains at World Cup

New Zealand's female kayakers have enjoyed sweet success at the canoe sprint World Cup II in the Czech Republic, clinching a gold and bronze medal in their build-up to Rio.
The K4 kayak crew of Jaimee Lovett, Aimee Fisher, Caitlin Ryan and Kayla Imrie won bronze in the K4 500m final, improving on their fifth placing at the opening World Cup event in Germany last weekend. Lovett and Fisher had earlier paired up to win gold in the non-Olympic K2 200m event.

Reigning Olympic K1 200 champion Lisa Carrington and New Zealand's only Rio-qualified male kayaker Marty McDowell will return to competition in Portugal next weekend.

Walsh shivers to shot put silver in Eugene

New Zealand shot putter Tom Walsh has continued his strong march to the Rio Olympic Games with a silver medal at the latest leg of the Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon.
Throwing in cold conditions at the Prefontaine Classic, Walsh hit his longest throw of 20.86m in his third attempt, repeating his placing from the season-opener in Shanghai two weeks ago. Gold medallist American Joe Kovacs produced a series of big throws including a world leading distance of 22.13m.

Walsh now heads to Athens, Georgia, where he will be based until the Olympic Games in August, making trips to Europe for further Diamond League events ahead of Rio.

Kiwi lifters snatch two spots in Rio through Oceanias

Kiwi weightlifters have snatched two spots for New Zealand at the Rio Olympic Games – one male and one female – after a successful campaign at the Oceania championships in Fiji.
Amongst New Zealand’s haul of 27 medals, two-time Olympian Richie Patterson won gold in the men’s 85kg class, while his wife, Pip Patterson, also won gold in the women’s 53kg.

Tracey Lambrechs set a national clean and jerk record of 138kg on her way to winning a silver medal in the women's 75kg+ class.

Kilday wins taekwondo gold on road to Rio

New Zealand’s No. 1 taekwondo athlete Andrea Kilday has won gold at the Gold Coast Open in her build-up to Rio.

Kilday, fighting in the women’s -49kg class, earned her Olympic quota spot in February after winning the Oceania qualifier in Port Moresby, and is the only Kiwi taekwondo athlete competing in Rio.

Women’s sevens collect bronze in Clemont-Ferrand

The New Zealand women's sevens team have finished third in the latest World Series event in France, losing their semi-final to arch-rivals Australia.

The Australians, who became first-time world champions in Clermont-Ferrand, were ahead 14-0 at one point before Portia Woodman scored from one of her trademark streaks down the right wing. But still the New Zealanders lost 14-5, leaving them without a series win in 2016.
In the play-off for third, New Zealand beat England 22-5.

Gaze stays on top of the world in mountain biking

New Zealand mountain biker Sam Gaze had another solid finish at a World Cup event, and retained his lead in the elite under-23 division.
Gaze, competing for the Specialized professional team, finished third in the latest round of the cross-country in La Bresse in France.

The other Kiwi rider vying for the solitary men’s Olympic berth in Rio, Commonwealth Games champion Anton Cooper, pulled out of the event continuing to battle with ill health. National women's champion Kate Fluker suffered a misfortune on the opening lap of the women's race and was forced to withdraw.

Daniell makes valiant third round exit from French Open

New Zealand doubles player Marcus Daniell battled right to the end of his third round defeat at the French Open at Roland Garros overnight.
Daniell and his American partner Brian Baker had stunned the 11th seeds, Finland's Henri Kontinen and Australian John Peers 6-3, 6-4, to make the third round.  But in their match with sixth seeds Indian Rohan Bopanna and Romania's Florian Mergea, the game went to a thrilling three sets, before losing 6-2, 6-7, 6-1.

Daniell’s regular partner, fellow New Zealand Artem Sitak, bowed out of the tournament in the second round with American Nicholas Monroe.


Another injury thwarts Sarah Walker’s Olympic bid

Sarah Walker's hopes of riding in Rio have been dashed after she suffered a shoulder injury and failed to advance to the quarterfinals at the BMX world championships in Bolivia.
The London Olympic silver medallist, on the comeback trail after breaking her arm in February, failed to make the elimination rounds today after injuring her shoulder in a training accident at the weekend. She could only manage fifth place in each of her three qualifying motos, ruling her out of trying to secure one of the last Olympic qualifying places for Rio.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's other three riders in the elite competition – Maynard Peel, Matt Cameron and Michael Bias - all qualified for the elimination rounds.

Mixed bag for Tall Ferns in Latvia

The Tall Ferns have left Latvia with mixed results on the European leg of their Olympic qualifying preparation.  
The New Zealand women basketballers got off to a perfect start with a 70-64 overtime victory against Latvia in Riga, where power forward Jillian Harmon produced a game high 22 points.

But a day later, the Tall Ferns lost 72-52 to a Latvian side desperate for revenge.  The Kiwi women now head to Belarus for a four-nation tournament also including Japan and Turkey.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Emma Twigg Nicky Samuels Tony Dodds Ryan Sissons Andrea Hewitt Mahe Drysdale Hamish Bond Eric Murray James Lassche Alistair Bond James Hunter Matthew Dunham Richie Patterson Rebecca Scown Genevieve Macky Aaron Gate Jaimee Lovett Aimee Fisher Caitlin Ryan Kayla Imrie Tom Walsh Tracey Lambrechs Portia Woodman Samuel Gaze Marcus Daniell Jillian Harmon Rowing Triathlon Canoe/Kayak - Sprint Weightlifting Basketball Cycling - Mountain Bike Table Tennis Taekwondo Athletics
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