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New Zealand's Road to Rio: Weekly Highlights 22 Sep - 28 Sep

Lee ends PGA Tour on a high

A stellar final round has shot New Zealand golfer Danny Lee into a tie for second in the PGA Tour Championship, the last event of the tour, this morning.

Lee, 25, shot one of the best rounds of the day - a five-under 65 including seven birdies - at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, to end the tournament four shots adrift of World No. 1, American Jordan Spieth.

Lee, who aims to play at next year’s Rio Olympic Games, has finished the PGA tour season ranked ninth on points after eight top-10 finishes, and has now climbed into the world’s top 50 professionals, at number 35, for the first time.

Heroic Villumsen finally rides to the top
Relief and delight were the overriding emotions for New Zealand cyclist Linda Villumsen as she finally became the world champion in the women’s individual time trial at the UCI championships in Virginia, USA.

Twice before, Villumsen had won silver; three times before, she’d taken home the bronze. But this time, the unassuming Commonwealth Games time trial champion posted a blazing time of 40m 29.87s over the 30km course; the next best time, by Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen, was 2.54s slower.

Villumsen has her sights firmly set on gold at the Rio Olympic Games, after missing a medal by a second in London four years ago.

New blood for Black Sticks
The outstanding raw talent of young women’s hockey players Maddie Dowe and Kelsey Smith has been recognised in the Black Sticks team to play world No. 2 Argentina next week.

Dowe, an 18-year-old schoolgirl defender from Auckland, and Smith, a speedy attacker from Wellington, are the two uncapped players in the 20-strong squad who will meet Argentina in a four-test series in Blenheim, Nelson and Christchurch. The most capped member of the squad is defender Emily Naylor with 256 caps to her name.

Dowe and Smith will also be striving to gain selection for the national squad – from which teams will be selected to play in this month’s Oceania Cup in Stratford, the World League final in Argentina in December, and ultimately, next year’s Olympic Games.

Archbold on podium in France
Kiwi track cyclist Shane Archbold (pictured below left) continues to stamp his mark on the road, with a podium finish in the 69th Grand Prix d'Isbergues - Pas de Calais in the north of France.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist on the track, now riding professionally for Bora-Argon 18, positioned himself in the big bunch sprint to finish third in the 204km race.
It was an impressive result for the South Canterbury rider, who recently secured a further year’s contract with the German-based UCI continental team.

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