Official New Zealand Olympic Team App launched ahead of Rio

The official NZ Olympic Team app, proudly powered by major sponsor ANZ, includes access to athlete profiles, medal notifications, schedules and results, daily updates and behind the scenes content from Rio.

Emma Twigg

By downloading the app, supporters are able to send messages to the stars backing the NZ Team in Rio and the athletes can use their phone to scan the night sky to see all of the messages from New Zealanders right there with them.

It is all about creating a connection between New Zealanders at home and on the field of play in Rio. The app can be downloaded now from the app store or play store by searching "NZ Olympic Team."

Historic sevens rugby teams named for Rio

Scott Curry and Sarah Goss will lead the New Zealand men’s and women’s rugby sevens teams into an historic battle at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Two 12-strong teams were named at the hallowed rugby ground of Eden Park in Auckland. Their inclusion marks the return of rugby to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1924, the first appearance of sevens rugby, and the first time women’s rugby has been included.

The teams also feature a brother and sister combination in All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams and his younger sister Niall Williams.

Lifters Patterson and Lambrechs reunited for Rio

Weightlifters Richie Patterson and Tracey Lambrechs will follow on from their 2014 Commonwealth Games successes to compete in Rio – the first time in 16 years New Zealand has selected both a male and female lifter for an Olympic Games.

Patterson, who won gold in Glasgow two years ago, has secured his spot to lift in the men’s 85kg division for Rio, making his third Olympic appearance.

Lambrechs, who claimed a Commonwealth bronze medal, has continued to raise the bar over the past two years to the point of winning selection to compete in the women’s +75kg division – and make her Olympic debut.

Sir Mark Todd leads the way in his eighth Olympics

The remarkable Sir Mark Todd will compete in his eighth Olympic Games, heading a five-strong equestrian team named for Rio.

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Todd, who has five Olympic medals to his name, will join his bronze medal-winning eventing team-mates from London 2012 - Jonelle Price and Jock Paget - along with Clarke Johnstone, with whom Todd won a team bronze at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  Tim Price has also been named as the travelling reserve.

Flying the flag in the dressage event is Palmerston North’s Julie Brougham, selected for her first Olympic Games. 

Venus on the rise with Daniell for tennis in Rio

Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell will become only the second tennis doubles duo to represent New Zealand at an Olympic Games.

Venus has won four ATP doubles titles this year with his partner Mate Pavic of Croatia, and the pair are now through to the third round at Wimbledon. The 16th seeds quietly but convincingly beat an Argentine combination on Sunday in the second round.

Daniell has also seen success on the ATP tour this year, winning in Stuttgart with fellow Kiwi Artem Sitak.

Quadruple sculls answer Olympic late call-up

The New Zealand men’s quadruple sculls has been given a last-minute quota spot to compete at the Olympic Games after a Russian crew were disqualified.

The late call-up came after Sergej Fedorovtsev, a member of the Russian men’s crew which finished ahead of the Kiwis at the final Olympic qualification regatta in Lucerne in May, returned a positive drug test.

The New Zealanders - John Storey, George Bridgewater, Nathan Flannery and Jade Uru – finished just out of Olympic qualification in third place, but now have their tickets to Rio.

Kane Radford becomes NZ’s first open-water Olympic swimmer 

Open-water swimmer Kane Radford has won the right to become New Zealand’s first open-water Olympic swimmer, after his successful appeal for inclusion into the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio.

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The Perth-based Radford is the only New Zealand open-water swimmer to be selected for this year’s Olympic Games.

Radford finished 19th at the final Olympic qualifying event over 10km in Portugal last month, but proved he had suffered interference when he was lying in 10th place just 250m from the finish-line.

Sam Gaze wins world mountain bike title

Rio-bound mountain biker Sam Gaze has become New Zealand’s latest world champion, after winning the under-23 cross country title in the Czech Republic overnight.

Gaze, who will make his Olympic debut as the sole Kiwi mountain biker in Rio, produced the perfect ride to capture the title – breaking away from the field in a bunch of four riders after the first lap, then waiting till the penultimate lap of the 23km race to make his move.  He finished 50s clear of his nearest rival, top seed Victor Koretzky of France.

It’s the second time in as many years that a New Zealander has taken the world under-23 crown, won in 2015 by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anton Cooper, who has missed most of this season through illness.

Hewitt sprints for silver in Stockholm

Andrea Hewitt is now second overall on the World Triathlon Series rankings after a strong sprint for silver in the latest round in Stockholm.

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Hewitt, the first Olympic athlete selected to represent New Zealand in Rio, outsprinted British athlete Helen Jenkins to take second place on the difficult, twisty course, behind Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who broke away from the leaders on the bike leg.

Fellow Kiwi Nicky Samuels, who will also compete in Rio, had her best finish of the season so far, crossing the line in eighth place.

Ashby strokes to Brisbane medley victory

Medley specialist Bradlee Ashby has had a confidence-boosting victory in his warm-up for Rio, winning the men's 200 individual medley on the final night of the Australian Grand Prix in Brisbane.

The 20-year-old, preparing for his Olympic debut in the 400m medley next month, was just two seconds outside his national record with a time of 2m 1.89s.

Fellow Kiwi Lauren Boyle finished second in the 400m freestyle behind Australia's Jessica Ashwood, in her first competitive swim in three months, clocking a time of 4m 9.43s.

Black Sticks bag Six Nations bronze

The Black Sticks men have won bronze at the Six Nations in Valencia following a 4-1 rout of Argentina.

New Zealand dominated the world’s seventh-ranked side from start to finish, adding a goal in each quarter, courtesy of Shay Neal, Nick Wilson, Simon Child and Stephen Jenness.

The Kiwis finished with two wins, two losses and a draw, and ended with their best performance of the tournament.  They now travel home for their final preparations ahead of Rio.

Drysdale second in Henley Royal regatta

Olympic rowing champion Mahe Drysdale has finished second in the men’s single sculls final at the Henley Royal regatta.

Hannes Obreno of Belgium has beaten Drysdale by two lengths to take the Diamond single sculls, a title the Kiwi has won five times previously.

Obreno recently won the last chance regatta in Lucerne to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Tour de France features three Kiwis

Three New Zealand riders have lined up in cycling’s premier road tour event, the Tour de France, at the weekend.

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After two stages, the best of the Kiwis is George Bennett. Riding for LottoNL-Jumbo, the climbing specialist is 158th overall, 7m 05s behind the race leader in the yellow jersey, Russian Peter Sagan.

Five-time Olympian Greg Henderson is 164th, while Commonwealth Games track gold medallist Shane Archbold is 196th.

Southern Cross shines brightly on NZ Olympic uniforms

New Zealand’s night sky and wide open spaces have been brought to life in the black, silver, green and blue uniform of the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio 2016.

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Designed by New Zealand artist and designer Shane Hansen, in collaboration with long-term New Zealand Olympic Team clothing partner PEAK, the New Zealand Olympic Team casual and training uniform is dominated by classic black, while featuring references to Te Mahutonga, the constellation of the Southern Cross, above New Zealand. 

In reflective silver, the four stars feature across the casual range which also features sweeps of green and blue. The range was revealed by eight Rio-focused athletes at the annual Prime Minister’s Olympic Gala Dinner.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Tracey Lambrechs Richie Patterson Mark Todd Niall Williams Sonny Bill Williams Sarah Hirini Scott Curry Bradlee Ashby Andrea Hewitt Nicky Samuels John Storey Jade Uru George Bridgewater Nathan Flannery Kane Radford George Bennett Shane Archbold Greg Henderson Mahe Drysdale Shay Neal Nick Wilson Hugo Inglis Simon Child Stephen Jenness Samuel Gaze Michael Venus Marcus Daniell Rugby - Sevens Weightlifting Equestrian - Eventing Equestrian - Dressage Triathlon Cycling - Mountain Bike Swimming Rowing Tennis Hockey Cycling - Road
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