New Zealand riders Sarah Walker and Rebecca Petch made the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympic BMX test event.

It was the first use of the track at the Ariake Urban Sports Venue, with racing moved up two days to avoid the typhoon.

While Walker and Petch enjoyed strong performances, junior world champion Jessie Smith crashed in the final practice, and will recuperate in Tokyo for several days before she is able to fly home.

Riders reported that the new track is different in configuration than usual BMX circuits, with considerably more length.

Walker and Petch made it through from the two-round qualifying in the revamped format because of the impending weather, before both finished fourth in their groups from a three-heat quarterfinals series. Walker was fifth in her semifinal, to miss out by one spot on the final, with Petch sixth in her semifinal.

North Harbour’s Michael Bias, the only New Zealand male rider, was third in his qualifying motos and was on track to make it to the semifinals but finished fifth in his final quarterfinal heat to miss out by one spot.

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Above: Michael Bias competing in Tokyo

Frenchman Romain Mahieu took out the men’s final while Australian Saya Sakakibara won the women’s final.



The men’s Black Sticks have bounced back from their opening match loss against Japan to win the second game of the series 6-3.

Kane Russell was the man of the match, scoring four goals as the team ran away with the win over a determined Japanese side.  

The New Zealanders put together a clinical performance, taking a two-nil lead early on and never relinquishing their hold on the game.

The third match of the series will be held Monday October 14 at 6:30 pm. 



A pulsating final quarter helped the Silver Ferns clinch a dramatic 53-52 win over Australia in the opening match of the four-Test Constellation Cup, played in Christchurch on Sunday.

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It was the first time in four years that the Silver Ferns have delivered back-to-back wins over their great rivals and the first time they have beaten the Diamonds in Christchurch since 2004, in front of a sell-out crowd.

After building a five-goal lead during the second quarter, the Silver Ferns were on the back-foot heading into the home straight, a serious challenge by the visitors gaining Australia a similar advantage going into the last 15 minutes.

Captain Laura Langman’s tireless court coverage and steadying hand, the shooting of Ameliaranne Ekenasio (29 shots from 31 attempts) and a timely turnover by last quarter defensive replacement Karin Burger with 90 seconds left on the clock, helped the Silver Ferns produce a finish with a gallop when sealing the final stanza 14-8.

“We wanted to make sure we trampolined from World Cup to here. There was some really good stuff from us and some that needs some polish,” Langman said afterwards.

“But it was great to be able to back up our World Cup win.”

“Both sides have great depth and versatility on the bench. It was a real nail-biter and could have gone either way.”

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Doha 2019 Beach Games

Andrea Anacan has managed the best showing of New Zealand’s karate athletes at the Beach Games in Doha.

Anacan progressed through the first round but narrowly missed out on making it to the ranking round any further.

Her karate teammates Isaac Hoshi and Holly Wigg did not progress past the first round.

Meanwhile kitefoil athletes Justina Kitchen and Sam Bullock completed their first race on Sunday.

Kitchen placed 8th and Bullock placed 13. Six races are planned for the kite athletes second day of competition.



New Zealand women's basketball coach Guy Molloy has named a squad of 14 players for next month's Olympic qualifying tournament in Auckland.

Matangiroa Flavell and Brooke Blair have been added to the Tall Ferns squad that played at the Asia Cup in India last month.

Flavell debuted for the Tall Ferns on the tour of Japan and Taiwan in July, while Blair returns to the Tall Ferns ranks for the first time since last year's William Jones Cup.

Blair is also looking forward to linking up with former Rangitoto College teammates Fotu and Penina Davidson.

The Tall Ferns will host China, South Korea and the Philippines, with the two highest-placed teams progressing to one of four global qualifying tournaments in February.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games
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