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Balance of youth and experience in Black Sticks men for Rio

The New Zealand Men's Olympic Hockey team may have found the perfect balance in their 16-man squad for Rio 2016 – with eight new Olympians and eight players with Olympic experience.

New Zealand captain Simon Child (260 test caps), Ryan Archibald (313), Shea McAleese (225) and Bradley Shaw (179) will suit up for their third Olympic campaigns, while Hugo Inglis (176), Nick Wilson (156), Blair Hilton (153) and Stephen Jenness (150) were all members of the New Zealand team in London 2012.

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An exciting young addition to the team is 18-year-old Central Mavericks midfielder Hayden Phillips who made his international debut against Korea in Auckland earlier this year.

Men's coach Colin Batch has named his team early so they can concentrate on preparing and training together as a unit before Rio.


Big victory for Black Sticks women over arch-rivals Australia

The Black Sticks women have claimed a significant tournament victory on their final road to Rio, beating Australia 2-0 in the final of the International Hockey Open in Darwin.

Beaten by the Hockeyroos 2-1 in their round-robin clash, the Kiwis came out firing in the final with Kelsey Smith opening the scoring in the 24th minute, and Olivia Merry continuing the damage six minutes later. Staunch defence ensured the rare feat of keeping world No. 3 Australia scoreless.

Canterbury striker Sophie Cocks brought up her 100th international cap during the final.

The Black Sticks now head to the Champions Trophy in London, which starts June 19, before their Olympic squad is named.


Carrington scores double gold in latest World Cup

Lisa Carrington has won double gold once again at the World Cup in Portugal, showing her Olympic build-up is well on track.

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In the third World Cup of the season, Carrington took out her 13th straight K1 200m title since 2011, before repeating her success in the K1 500m.

The winning times weren’t quick, but Carrington was pleased to have practice with a side wind, the conditions she can expect in Rio in August.


Football Ferns search for improvement in Melbourne

The Football Ferns are seeking to turn around their fortunes tonight, after losing the first of their two tests against Australia, 2-0, on Saturday.

The Kiwi women’s soccer side were undone by the ruthless attack and uncompromising defence of the world No.5 Matildas, with Cailtlin Foord scoring both of the goals.

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The short series serves as a final warm-up before the Rio Olympic Games, with the second test at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne tonight – the curtain raiser to the Australian men’s clash with Greece.


Willis runs season best in Birmingham

Nick Willis has run a season's best 1500m for bronze, while Valerie Adams took out shot put silver at the latest IAAF World Diamond League meet in Birmingham.

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Willis, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, finished third in the 1500m final; his time of 3m 34.29s was five seconds off the race dominator, Kenya's Asbel Kiprop.

After winning gold in her last Diamond League appearance, Adams took one step down on the podium, with her best throw of the night 19.63 metres – 10cm behind American Tia Brooks, who threw a personal best.

Tall Ferns take lessons learned into Rio qualifier

The Tall Ferns go into the Olympic women’s basketball qualifying tournament in France with plenty of strong competition under their belts, following a rigorous Four Nations tournament in Minsk.

The New Zealanders came close to toppling world No. 10 Belarus in their opening game, going down 78-74, but were given a tough lesson by Turkey suffering a 31-point defeat.  In their final match against Asian champions Japan, they gave a much improved performance, but lost 75-59.

In the Olympic qualifier, which starts early next week, the Tall Ferns will need to finish in the top five of the 12-nation tournament to win a spot in Rio.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Lisa Carrington Nick Willis Valerie Adams Shea McAleese Simon Child Ryan Archibald Hayden Phillips Olivia Merry Kelsey Smith Bradley Shaw Hugo Inglis Nick Wilson Stephen Jenness Blair Hilton Football Hockey Canoe/Kayak - Sprint Basketball Athletics
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