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Snow Sports

Nico Porteous has finished in third place in the men’s Freeski Superpipe at the Dew Tour in the USA.

Competing in a 10-men final, athletes were allowed three runs each through the one-of-a kind ‘modified superpipe’ course.

Nico’s first run initially had him sitting in first place. Pushing to hold on to the top spot, Nico couldn’t stick the landings on his second and third runs.

Noah Bowman (CAN) clutched his third and final run, scoring a 95.00 for the win, with Gus Kenworthy (USA) climbing up in to second place and Nico pushed back to third.

It is Nico’s second podium finish of the 2020 Dew Tour, following a win by his team Atomic Skis in the Team Challenge on Thursday 6 February.

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Above: Porteous competing

Meanwhile Zoi Sadowski-Synnott competed in the women’s snowboard slopestyle final, placing fourth.

Zoi put down a solid first run for a score of 85.66 to put her in second place with two runs left to go. Struggling for speed on her second and third runs Zoi was unable to improve her score and just dropped out of the medal spots.

One of the youngest riders in the competition, Zoi was named ‘Women’s Rookie of the Year’ at the annual Snowboarder magazine Awards held during the Dew Tour on Thursday evening.

 

Sailing

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are intent on winning a sixth World Title as they compete at the World Championships in Melbourne this week.

"It’s Melbourne and it changes more than Auckland," Tuke said. "It’s a really classic place to sail."

The pair got a taste the conditions last week during the four-day Oceania championships, the warmup event for the world championships, when strong winds buffeted the race course. 

Burling and Tuke finished second, with fellow Kiwis Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn third and Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie fifth.

"It was pretty full-on out there," Tuke said. "It’s been a while since we’ve sailed an event with four solid days like that. There was some good action, that’s for sure.

"It was pretty good for us to have that warmup event a week out from the worlds. It gave us a pretty good test. It was windy the whole time so it was really good to get that many races in strong breezes. It gets you back into shape pretty quickly. We are happy with how we are going and where we are at a few days out."

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Burling and Tuke have just emerged from an intense period of training with Emirates Team New Zealand and are juggling that commitment as they works towards Tokyo 2020. 

"It’s definitely been a pretty busy time for Blair and myself," Burling said. "We really enjoyed a couple of weeks off over the Christmas break, which was the first decent time off we had had for a year or so.

"It’s been great also to do some more [America's] Cup sailing in the big boat and then launch the little boat. Now we can get into full 49er mode and try to build up to this worlds. It’s been a really fun period."

Burling and Tuke will be among a strong contingent of New Zealand sailors in Melbourne, and the Laser world championships also start across town on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have withdrawn from the World Champs after Maloney fractured her foot in training .

The Olympic silver medallists were among the contenders to add to the title they won in 2013 but Maloney fell awkwardly when performing a tack during practice racing and hurt her foot.

It's not known what the injury now means for Maloney and Meech's Olympic buildup. Maloney will return home this week and see a specialist.

 

Hockey

The Black Sticks men have won their first-ever FIH Hockey Pro League game with a 3-1 shootout victory over the Great Britain Men.

The win came during another full weekend of hockey which saw the men’s side win one and lose one against Great Britain, while the Black Sticks women lost both their matches against the Great Britain Women’s side.

Playing in Auckland the New Zealand men were solid in their first match, building up lots of positive momentum in the first half.

The men put themselves in the lead for the first time in the 2020 Hockey Pro League when a turnover deep in the Great Britain half was then passed to an open Stephen Jenness in the circle who put a rocket past the Great Britain goalkeeper.

With only minutes to go in the contest Great Britain scored, to tie the game 1-all and force a penalty shootout.

The Black Sticks Men held their nerve to secure a 3-1 shootout victory behind some outstanding goalkeeper from Richard Joyce.

The men lost 3-nil against Great Britain the following day.

Meanwhile the women lost their first game 3-nil but were better in their second match. The New Zealanders tied the game 2-all but lost in a penalty shootout.

 

Rowing

Rowing New Zealand has named Mahe Drysdale to the single sculls spot for World Rowing Cup two and three for 2020.

The two-time Olympic champion has been out of the boat for several years as Robbie Manson held the spot.

The veteran has been named to contest the solo event at the first two World Cup regattas in Italy and Switzerland in May.

New Zealand’s elite rowers will continue training at Lake Karapiro before departing overseas to contest the 2020 World Rowing Cup II in Varese, Italy (1-3 May) and World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland (22-24 May).

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Surfing

New Zealand’s Olympic hopeful surfers may get the chance to compete against one of the most successful athletes in the world, with Kelly Slater confirming his attendance for the Piha Pro.

The eleven-time world champion has signed on to start his World Surf League season on Auckland's west coast at the inaugural Piha Pro.

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Slater, regarded as the greatest surfer of all time, may face off against the likes of Billy Stairmand, who has provisionally qualified to represent New Zealand at Tokyo 2020.

The event will run from March 16-22.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games
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