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New Zealand's Road to Rio: Weekly Highlights 14 Sep - 21 Sep

Be the Inspiration - New Zealand Olympic Committee

Historic back-to-back at Blenheim for Price

New Zealand Eventer Jonelle Price has leapt into the history books, as the first rider to win back-to-back titles at the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in Oxfordshire. Price, who’s ranked fourth in the world, led the three-star event from the first day on board Cloud Dancer II; having won last year on Faerie Dianimo.

A mistake on the cross country’s eighth jump – coffin fence – almost proved their undoing, but a strong dressage performance made sure Price stayed at the front of the field. Her husband, Tim, finished 10th overall on Xavier Faer. The New Zealanders now head to a three-star event in The Netherlands, aiming to qualify New Zealand in three-day eventing for the Rio Olympic Games.

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Silver finale for Hewitt

A year of consistency has earned outstanding Kiwi triathlete Andrea Hewitt silver in the overall ITU World Series Rankings for 2015, proving she is very much in “Rio mode”.

A strong fourth placing in the Grand Final in Chicago last week saw her leapfrog two rivals to stand on the second tier of the world rankings podium – the fifth time in seven years the Cantabrian has collected an end-of-year medal. Hewitt put her success down to a consistent season, with her focus on building towards next year’s Olympic Games.

Fellow Kiwi Simone Ackermann ended with a final ranking of 50 in her first season of elite competition, while Porirua athlete Deb Lynch bounced back from a bike crash to finish 11thin the ITU Under-23 women’s world championship.

Two slalom spots for NZ in Rio

Mike Dawson and Luuka Jones have ensured New Zealand has qualified two places in canoe slalom at the 2016 Olympic Games, by making the semi-finals of their kayak events at the world championships in London. But it was bittersweet reward for the two Kiwi paddlers.

Dawson was in excellent form topping the qualifying rounds in the men’s kayak, but a single mistake between the 12th and 13th gates on the demanding Lee Valley whitewater course in the semis pushed him back to 28th, and out of contention for the top-10 final. In the women’s semi-final, Jones finished just one place off a finals berth – missing out by an agonising 0.10s - to end her world championships in 11th.

Five cities wrestling for 2024

A strong field of contenders have lined up for the right to host the 2024 Olympic Games. Budapest, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Paris and Rome have put their names forward to the International Olympic Committee, with the winner to be elected at the 30th IOC Session in Lima, Peru, in 2017.

For the first time, the candidature process was shaped as more of an invitation to interested cities, and IOC President Thomas Bach was thrilled with the high quality of applicants.

Koudinov achieves NZ's best Men's Artistic Gymnast World Cup result

New Zealander Mikhail (Misha) Koudinov has placed 5th on the Floor in the World Cup Challenge in Osijek, Croatia - claiming our best ever result for Men's Artistic Gymnastics.

Koudinov qualified for the final in 7th place with a score of 14.600 and finished in 5th with a 14.400. Koudinov is currently based in the US as he works towards qualification for Rio 2016.

Win a Trip to Rio to support the team: Inspiration Hub

Our athletes are on a journey towards the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.

Inspired by New Zealand, a nation of pride and excellence, our Olympians of past, present and future have shaped our identity through their sporting feats. Share in their moments of past & present and Be The Inspiration for our New Zealand Olympic Team.

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