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Rio Olympics 2016: Where will the medals come from?

Silver medallists New Zealand during the medal ceremony for women's rugby sevens. Photo / AP
Silver medallists New Zealand during the medal ceremony for women's rugby sevens. Photo / AP

With the first week mark of the Rio Olympics looming, it is time to recalibrate New Zealand's progress towards their record projected medal haul.

Initially the Herald employed a complex system of statistics, rumour and hunches to list no less than 32 capable candidates.

The model was by no means scientific, but indicates this New Zealand team should triumph like no other in the country's Games history.

Only a patriotic fantasist could believe the country could return anywhere near 32, but it was a promising frame of reference.

Two silvers - and one, in Natalie Rooney's trap silver, not predicted - mean the gong cabinet looks sparse.

Sir Mark Todd's four dropped rails in the eventing's showjumping round, cyclist Linda Villumsen's sixth in the road time trial, the men's sevens ejection from the quarter-finals and the rowing semi-final exit of men's and women's double scullers mean the New Zealand team has struggled on several fronts.

High Performance Sport New Zealand targeted 14 medals which looked served with a dollop of modesty considering the addition of Kiwi medal prospects like rugby sevens and golf to the programme.

The women's sevens silver medal is gaining status by the day.

Tomorrow the prospects look more promising with Hamish Bond and Eric Murray competing in the rowing men's coxless pair, James Hunter, James Lassche, Alsitair Bond and Peter Taylor racing the lightweight four and world champion cyclists Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins competing in the team sprint.

According to the HPSNZ's Games media pack, the taxpayer has invested $175 million across the Olympic cycle to ensure elite sporting success is seen to "lead to both international prestige for the nation, inspiring the nation, and importantly, to an increase in participation among the masses."

New Zealand's previous best medal returns were 13 at Seoul in 1988 (three gold, two silver, eight bronze) and London in 2012 (six gold, two silver, five bronze).

The most gold medals collected was eight - all sitting down - at Los Angeles in 1984.


Women's shot put: Valerie Adams


Men's team sprint: Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster, Eddie Dawkins
Women's road time trial: Linda Villumsen (NO, finished 6th)


Women's K1 200m: Lisa Carrington
Women's K1 500m: Lisa Carrington


Women: Lydia Ko


Women's double sculls: Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane (NO, ousted in semi-finals)
Men's coxless pair: Eric Murray and Hamish Bond


Men's 49er: Blair Tuke and Peter Burling


Men's single sculls: Mahe Drysdale
Women's single sculls: Emma Twigg
Men's lightweight coxless four

Rugby sevens



Women's 800m: Lauren Boyle


Men's shot put: Tom Walsh


Men's team pursuit: Piet Bulling, Regan Gough, Dylan Kennett, Aaron Gate, Hayden Roulston



Rugby sevens

Men (NO, ousted in quarter-finals)


Women's 470: Polly Powrie and Jo Aleh


Women's lightweight double sculls: Sophie Mackenzie and Julia Edward
Women's coxless pair: Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent
Women's eight


Men's 1500m: Nick Willis
Women's pole vault: Eliza McCartney


Men's keirin: Eddie Dawkins
Women's team pursuit: Rushlee Buchanan, Jaime Nielsen, Racquel Sheath, Lauren Ellis, Georgia Williams


Individual and/or team eventing: Sir Mark Todd, Jonelle Price, Jock Paget, Clarke Johnstone (NO, fourth in team eventing/Clarke Johnstone sixth in individual)


Men's double sculls: Robbie Manson and Chris Harris (NO, ousted in semi-finals)
Men's eight


Women's 49er FX: Molly Meech and Alex Maloney


Women: Andrea Hewitt

- NZ Herald

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