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Football Ferns score stirring 1-0 victory over Brazil 

The Football Ferns have taken a powerful step forward in their preparation towards qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games, with an inspiring 1-0 victory over world No. 7 side Brazil. 

New Zealand striker Amber Hearn scored the winner in the 35th minute of the match, the first in a two-game series in Brazil. The two sides meet again on Wednesday. 

The series will give the Ferns, ranked 16th in the world, valuable experience of playing in Brazil should they qualify for next years Olympic Games a scenario that rests on them beating Papua New Guinea in January.

Andrew Murdoch denied Finn Gold Cup bronze by a whisker 

New Zealand Olympic sailor Andrew Murdoch has just missed out on a world championship medal in the Finn Gold Cup regatta in Auckland by the slightest of margins.

Murdoch finished the Finn world champs, sailed off Takapuna, tied for third with Vasilij Zbogar, but the Slovenian sailor claimed the bronze through a better finish in the final medal race (a sixth compared to Murdochs ninth). Meanwhile, Englishman Giles Scott won the world title for a third time with two races to spare.

After competing at two Olympic Games in the Laser class, Murdoch is making a bid to sail at next year's Rio Olympic Games in the bigger Finn dinghy.

Dylan Schmidts Olympic dream still alive 

Dylan Schmidt has narrowly missed making the final at the trampoline world championships in Denmark. The 18-year-old Auckland student finished 10th in the mens individual trampoline semifinal stage, leaving him 0.69 points shy of the top eight final and automatic qualification for New Zealand at next years Olympic Games. But all is not lost in Schmidts dream to become the first New Zealander to compete in trampoline at an Olympic Games. He has another chance to make the 16-strong Olympic field through next years Rio test event in April.

Gymnasts McGregor and Koudinov chosen for Olympic test event 

Artistic gymnasts Courtney McGregor and Misha Koudinov will make a bid to compete at the Rio Olympics when they take part in the Olympic test event next April. New Zealands performances at the world championships last month earned two spots at the test event in Rio, for which McGregor from the Christchurch School of Gymnastics and Koudinov from North Harbour Gymnastics have been selected. Both gymnasts made history earlier this year as the first New Zealanders to make a final at a World Cup event.  Charlotte Sullivan and David Bishop are the New Zealand reserves.

World champion pursuiters among star-studded cast for World Cup cycling 

New Zealands world champion mens team pursuit headlines a strong home team for this weeks UCI Track World Cup in the Avantidrome in Cambridge. The Kiwi's will boast a team of 21 riders in the three-day competition being held in New Zealand for the first time.  Double 2008 Olympic medallist Hayden Roulston comes into the champion team pursuit line-up for the injured Marc Ryan. The field of 570 riders from throughout the world includes 28 current world or Olympic champions. Cambridge is the second of three World Cup events which serve as qualifiers for the world championships and ultimately next years Olympic Games.

NZ Womens Sevens side start campaign for fourth world title 

Despite a string of injuries, the world champion New Zealand Womens Sevens team will still be a formidable side to tackle in the opening round of the Women's Sevens Series in Dubai this week. Coach Sean Horan has pulled together an experienced 12-strong side for the tournament, which kicks off New Zealands campaign for a fourth-straight world title.  There is only one new cap Auckland back Niall Williams, sister of world champion All Black Sonny Bill Williams.  Among those unable to play in Dubai is former world sevens player of the year, Kayla McAlister, out with a foot injury, and key play-maker Selica Winiata, sidelined with a back injury.

Kiwi kayaker Mike Dawson gives Rio course thumbs up 

New Zealand kayakers Mike Dawson and Luuka Jones have had their first hands-on experience of the Rio Olympic Games white-water slalom, with Dawson impressed by the pretty full-on course. Dawson, who finished 17th in the mens K1 heats stage of the Aquece Rio test event on the weekend, found the rapid-filled course extremely difficult but providing great tight racing.  Jones was fifth in the heats, but just missed out on the finals finishing 11th in the womens K1 semis. Both Dawson and Jones have qualified New Zealand for their respective events for the Olympic Games proper in Rio next year.


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