New Zealand's female rowers have shown their mettle at the Rowing World Cup regatta in Poland, claiming four gold medals.
Single-sculler Emma Twigg led the gold-medal surge, while the pair of Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler, double scullers Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue, and lightweight double scullers Jackie Kiddle and Zoe McBride also won their races.
In total, New Zealand collected six medals, with Tom Murray, and Michael Brake taking silver in the men's pair, while the men's quad won bronze.
Twigg's performance was the standout, with the 32-year-old competing in her first international regatta since the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished fourth.
“This regatta was sort of a welcome back but also a shock to the system. We had clear goals for each race here and my goal for this race was just to enjoy it and find my rhythm and maybe that helped with the result,” said Twigg.
The newlook NZ men's eight, featuring dual Olympic gold medalists Hamish Bond and Mahe Drysdale, had a promising debut, finishing fourth in their race.
Credit: Rowing NZ
Kayaker Luuka Jones was also in action in Europe, winning New Zealand’s first ever canoe slalom World Cup medal in the K1 discipline.
The 30-year-old Rio silver medallist finished second in the women's K1 final on the tricky Bratislava course with a faultless display.
Jones was slightly off the pace in the first part of her final run but finished strong in an overall time of 100.65secs to eventually place second.
"It's been a goal for a long time to win a World Cup medal - I've been doing it for a long time and I won an Olympic medal before I won a World Cup medal so it means a lot to me," Jones said.
It was a difficult course but going into the final, I had a good plan so it was just about me going out and executing the best run I could. I actually had some mistakes at the top and lost some time but I managed to keep my composure and finish off the run well."
The win comes a week after fellow Kiwi Callum Gilbert stunned his more experienced rivals by finishing fifth in the opening round of the season in London. Teammate Finn Butcher also made a promising start to his season, making the semi-finals.
In nearby Belgium Kiwi husband and wife eventers Tim and Jonelle placed first and second in CCI4* short-format Event Rider Masters.
World no.1 Tim took the top spot on mount Wesko. He was the only rider to come home clear and inside time in the cross country – the final test of the competition.
“I am super happy with Wesko,” said Tim.
“It’s great to have him at the top of a leaderboard again and he has finished very well. I’ve never won one of the masters before, so that was cool to hold one of these big plastic cheques and spray some champagne about!”
Credit: Event Rider Masters
Jonelle and FaerieDianimo powered their way up the leaderboard after sitting in seventh at the end of the dressage, moving up a spot in the showjumping and taking second place overall following their effort in the showjumping.
In the Czech Republic shot putter Tom Walsh continued his fine vein of form to win the Golden Spike meet in Ostrava.
Walsh heaved a 22.27m effort, his sixth best ever throw, for an emphatic win.
Walsh said the most important thing for him was improving on his last competition where he threw 22.18m in Poland.
Walsh is set to come up against Olympic Champion Ryan Crouser in California next week.
Meanwhile the Football Ferns bid to write a new chapter in their history will have to wait until the 2020 Toyko Olympics after bowing out of the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to Cameroon.
“None of the results went our way but you can’t underestimate how much work we’ve put into all of the games, we’ve worked hard and it’s just the little differences that have affect the results,” said Olivia Chance.
“We just need to let this sink in, remember this feeling and let it drive us for the Olympic Games. We really need to knuckle down and make sure we’re back to winning at the Olympics.”
It was a similar story for the men’s and women’s Black Sticks who both went down to Great Britain in their final matches of the FIH pro league.
The men’s team weren’t able to find the back of the net, going down 2-0, while the women were also outplayed 3-1.
Triathlete Tayler Reid has claimed his first World Cup Series elite men’s win.
Reid timed his sprint perfectly to see off Sweden’s Gabriel Sandor in the Antwerp Triathlon in Belgium.
“Tastes even better after placing second here last year,” Reid said on his Tayler Reid Triathlete Facebook page.
Ainsley Thorpe also reached podium heights, taking home the bronze medal in her race.
BMX freestyle athlete Ellie Chew was also in action, showing off her skills at Nitro Circus in Madrid.
Chew landed her first ever front flip and she did it in style, in front of a roaring crowd in the Spanish capital.
The Kapiti Coast athlete is hoping to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 as the discipline makes it’s Olympic debut.
And finally New Zealand will be well represented at the World Aquatics Championships in South Korea later this year with a host of Kiwi swimmers hitting the qualification times at the New Zealand Nationals.
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Lewis Clareburt is among those who hit the required time.