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Triathlon

New Zealand’s elite triathletes have shone at their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Test Events, winning a bronze medal in the men’s individual race and placing 7th in the new Olympic discipline of mixed team relay.

Whakatane’s Hayden Wilde was the pick of the Kiwis, pulling off the race of his life to win bronze in the men’s event.

The 21-year-old took the podium finish in a field stacked with the best triathletes in the world, including the likes of Jonathan Brownlee.

“I always love to race with a bit of passion so I came into the finish line pretty excited. To do that on the Olympic course is huge, to execute that race plan, I’m absolutely fizzing about it,” said Wilde.

Wilde was roughly a minute behind race leaders following the swim but the young athlete ground out an impressive bike leg to sit in the front pack of three.

It was a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished with Wilde crossing the line in third, in a time of 1:50:03.

The New Zealand mixed team triathletes placed 7th in their event.

The team was unable to recover after being involved in a minor crash early in the race.

“At the end of the first leg we were caught in a bit of a mishap where some of the other athletes caught their bikes together and that wasn’t ideal,” said Tayler Reid.

Despite the early trouble the New Zealanders managed to work their way up the field, improving from 13th to finish 7th in a time of 1:28:19.

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Sailing

New Zealand’s boats are still in good shape after the second day of the Olympic Sailing Test Event in Enoshima.

Sam Meech retained first in the Laser, despite finishing 13th in today's only race, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are second in the 49er and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech climbed into fourth in the 49erFX.

The day certainly didn't pass without drama. The 49erFX fleet finished their second race going upwind on what was supposed to be a downwind and Meech had to watch a number of boats slip past him when he was forced to execute a 720-degree penalty turn right on the finish line. 

Maloney and Meech enjoyed the best results of the Kiwi contingent, finishing third and sixth in their two races today, and they are now within striking distance of the three leading boats. 

"We had a good day today," Meech said. "We were pretty consistent and went out there focusing on our routines and good starts and, while they weren’t amazing, they were pretty good and gave us opportunities afterwards, so that was nice."

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Hockey

The men’s Black Sticks have recorded two thrilling wins in a row at the Tokyo 2020 Hockey Test Event.

The Kiwis took on hosts Japan on Saturday night. The Japanese held a 3-2 lead going into the final quarter but New Zealand found the back of the net to level the scores early. Then with 8-seconds to play the visitors scored again to take the win.

The following night saw a similar situation against world no. 5 ranked team India.

The Indian side took a 1-0 lead into the final quarter but Jacob Smith battled his way through the opposition defence to even the game, 1-1, in the 47th minute.

The Blacks Sticks again rallied in the last minute of play and found the back of the net with a Sam Lane goal giving New Zealand a 2-1 win.

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Rowing

The 2019 Rowing NZ Elite team contesting the World Rowing Championships 25 August – 1 September in Linz, Austria has been named. The team of 53 athletes and 17 support staff will arrive in Linz on 21 August for eight days of racing. New Zealand’s crew will be joining nearly 1200 athletes from 80 nations.

Visit https://www.rowingnz.kiwi/Story?Action=View&Story_id=654 for a list of all the athletes who’ve been named.

 

Basketball

The Tall Blacks bounced back from a defeat against Japan to claim a comprehensive victory against the Japanese in Kawasaki on Thursday night.

Two days prior the New Zealanders were slow out of the blocks in their first World Cup preparation hit-out to go down 99-89.

But after a 48 hour turn around the side looked completely different, defeating Japan 104-87.

The New Zealanders fired from the opening tip, draining 29 first quarter points before picking up the pace even more to close out the half 61-42.

The effort was well and truly spread throughout the roster, with no one playing more than 24 minutes and five players in double figures, led by Ethan Rusbatch’s 16 points on five of eight shooting. The Bay Hawk’s guard put in another impressive shift, collecting five rebounds along the way to again shout from the rooftops that he is ready and waiting for that call from the Australian NBL.

Isaac Fotu was again big in the paint with 15 points and five boards, Corey Webster picked up 14 hard earned points, often finishing in amongst big bodies, Rob Loe’s 13 included three big triples, Tom Abercrombie was efficiency personified with 12 points, four boards and four assists.

 


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