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New Zealand’s sailors have claimed three medals at the World Cup Series regatta in Genoa.

Men’s 470 sailors Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox won their first ever regatta, finishing third in the medal race to win the event by one point.

The gold medal came on the back of the silver won by Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie in the 49er on the first day of medal racing. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke also picked up bronze in the same discipline.

Snow-Hansen and Willcox went into the medal race with a three-point deficit to make up on the Chinese but the points were so close every team in the top-10 race had a shot at winning a medal.

“We have been training in New Zealand by ourselves and I have been coming back from injury after breaking my arm so to come to Europe and lay down a good result like this and to do it under pressure and perform in a medal race is awesome for us, we’re really stoked," Willcox said.

Willcox and Snow-Hansen have qualified a boat for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and are looking forward to racing in Japan mid-year.

"It's about a year-and-a-half out [from the Olympics]. We have a few major regattas in Japan so it will be quite cool to check it out and get some time on the water at the Olympic venue."

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It’s been an encouraging start to the European season by the full New Zealand team, following on from the three medals won at the Princess Sofia regatta in Palma earlier this month.

Back in New Zealand Dunedin Youth Olympic athlete Erika Fairweather smashed the longest standing record in New Zealand swimming.

The 15-year-old athlete shaved over two seconds off Perrott’s 15-year-olds’ 400m freestyle record with a crowd-stopping performance at the National Age Group Championships in Wellington on Saturday.

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Above: Erika Fairweather

Fairweather’s time of 4min 12.10 sec would have earned her third place on the podium at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games where Perrott set her mark.

In Kawerau, Olympic silver medallist Luuka Jones claimed both the K1 (kayak) and C1 (canoe) titles on the Tarawera River, putting daylight between herself and the chasing pack as she prepares to leave for another European season next week.

The three-time Olympian took out her first-ever K1-C1 double at national level in emphatic style, finishing the C1 final in 98.55secs, 18.55secs ahead of her nearest competitor.

Meanwhile at the Kitakyushu Women's World Sevens in Japan the Black Ferns Sevens went down in a quarter-final for the first time since 2017.

The Kiwis lost their quarterfinal to the United States 19-26 before bouncing back to beat Australia in the fifth place play off.

The fifth leg of the six-leg series will be played in Langford, Canada on May 11-12.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games Daniel Willcox Paul Snow-Hansen
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