Sailing: Tauranga sailors get early Rio nod

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Peter Burling (right), along with Blair Tuke, is Rio bound. Photo / Pedro Martinez
Peter Burling (right), along with Blair Tuke, is Rio bound. Photo / Pedro Martinez

Three Tauranga sailors have been confirmed for the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio 2016.

Heading the list is Peter Burling who, with Blair Tuke, has gone unbeaten since winning silver in the 49er class at London 2012.

Also from Tauranga, Molly Meech, with Alexandra Maloney, will compete in the 49erFX (women's skiff) class and Jason Saunders, who is teamed up with Auckland's Gemma Jones, will sail in the Nacra 17. Both the 49erFX and Nacra 17 are newly introduced to the Olympic sailing programme.

Saunders sailed at London 2012 in the men's 470, subsequently moving into multi-hulls with Jones, while Meech is an Olympic debutant.

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (women's 470 - double-handed dinghy) and Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox (men's 470 - double-handed dinghy) are the other teams named yesterday.

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith said sailing was traditionally a strong Olympic sport.

"I am delighted to welcome the 10 sailors to the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio," she said. "They have worked tirelessly to earn their selection to the team and I know New Zealanders will be inspired by their performances at Rio."

The Olympic Sailing Regatta will take place between August 8 and 19.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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