The New Zealand U18 women’s sevens team has survived a tough final match against France to win gold at the Youth Olympic Games.
“It’s so surreal, I’m still soaking up the atmosphere and the feeling,” said captain Risaleaana Pouri-Lane.
While their overall campaign had been dominant, the Baby Ferns had to work for a come-from-behind victory against France, eventually getting the win 15-12.
“We knew we had a target on our back,” Tiana Davison said. “But that’s like a drive for us, to push through that, we were thriving not surviving today and it’s absolutely incredible.”
“This has been a way to show we can thrive at the next level.”
Just weeks out from the Youth Olympic Games, the team lost three players to injury.
“Just to think of everything we’ve been through as a team, having three new players come in, and to have this gold medal, well it’s surreal,” Pouri-Lane said.
They put their success as a squad down to the culture coach Jimmy Sinclair helped install in the side.
“We had our own individual Patu,” Davison said. “His name’s Pat… he’s our strength and we used him as our weapon today.”
Meanwhile Tauranga paddler Finn Anderson won silver in the C1 slalom competition.
“I feel pretty awesome, it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Anderson. “Props to Mauritius for winning gold I just couldn’t keep up with him, he was going seriously fast.”
Buenos Aires 2018
Olympic Summer Youth Games
Anderson spent all day on the water with temperatures in Buenos Aires hitting 26-degrees.
“The temperature definitely impacted upon me. I had to drink lots of water and keep cool, it brought my run times down a bit but I still managed to get through which was good.”
Teammates Kahlia Cullwick and George Snook will contest their slalom races tomorrow.
In the eliminator cycling race Sammie Maxwell made it to the quarter-finals despite having been involved in a crash in the road race the day earlier.
“I’ve got grazes on my chin, my chest, knees, shoulders and a few on my hips but luckily the head didn’t get knocked,” said Maxwell.
Maxwell and teammates Phoebe Young and Max Taylor will race again tomorrow in the mountain bike.