She's Got Game Episode 5: How the women's sevens team can bounce back

A year ago the New Zealand women's sevens team were considered hot favourites for Olympic gold in Rio this year, but less than two months out from the Games the team now find themselves chasing.

Australia have established themselves as the ones to beat in Rio, having won five of the six tournaments on the World Series circuit this year.

As Sean Horan prepares to name his 12-strong squad for Rio early next month, Sky Sports commentator Melodie Robinson joins Rikki Swannell on She's Got Game this week to talk through the likely make-up of the team, and assess their medal chances.

Robinson believes once the team started to get beaten and the pressure came on from other top nations, self-doubt has crept into the squad.

As a former international, Robinson said she's incredibly proud for these players and for women's rugby.

"They're already ground breakers and this is the chance to do even more for the women's game."

In Train Like Girl, we hit the turf with Black Sticks skipper Anita Punt, who talks us through her training regime and the art of perfecting the drag flick.

"It took years to perfect the technique, but it also takes hours and hours of extra training to maintain and improve it even more," said Punt.

"When you see the ball go in the back of the net it's more of a relief, but it's also a huge joy to score a goal for New Zealand."

The NZL Sailing team's Gemma Jones sits down with us as she prepares for the challenge of her first Olympics.

Jones is following in the footsteps of her parents Jan Shearer and America's Cup legend Murray Jones, who have been to three and four Olympics respectively, with Shearer winning silver in the women's 470 class in Barcelona in 1992.

But the 22-year-old is also breaking ground of her own. She is competing in the Nacra 17 mixed gender class alongside London Olympian Jason Saunders, which features in the Olympic programme for the first time in Rio.

"It's really great that it's a mixed gender class, because it gives us girls an opportunity to prove ourselves and hopefully leaning towards the future of being more equal in other classes as well," said Jones.

"It's really exciting to be part of the movement of showing that in sailing that girls are just as capable of being skipper and crew as the guys are."

And finally, we check in with the women's endurance cycling team, who are in the midst of the big training block overseas as they chase Olympic selection. The team take us on a ride through Kutztown in the heart of Amish country Pennsylvania, where they have been based for the past month.

- NZ Herald

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