The New Zealand Olympic team returned from Rio with a record medal tally but some sports performed better than others. Andrew Alderson assesses who deserves increased funding.

The completion of the Olympic cycle comes with the quadrennial stock take to divvy up winners and losers, blue chip and red ink, lemonade and lemons.
The country's haul of 18 medals is a record, so credit is due to High Performance Sport New Zealand for making, in the majority of cases, a prudent investment of $175 million in taxpayer funds.

Fourteen medals was the target after securing 13 in London but, with the addition of golf and rugby sevens, 17 was realistic. They exceeded expectations.
Some sports can write their own cheques for the Tokyo 2020 cycle, others need their athletes to rise phoenix-like from campaigns which turned to ashes. Several need subtle tweaks to enhance worthy contributions.

The only quibble on the medal table is that the team couldn't match the six golds of London. Three of the four champions were in the same events and one, 49er sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, were 2012 silver medallists.

But that was countered by diversification. Kiwis earned medals from a record nine codes. Compare that with six in London, five in Beijing and four in Athens.

AQUATICS
Rio dividends: Investors were not even delivered a
solitary final in this sector.
Tokyo market precis: Time to exit this market after no medals in 20 years. Let Sport New Zealand invest in water safety campaigns and let the hungriest athletes and coaches, a la Duncan Laing and Danyon Loader in 1992 and 1996, earn the right to funding as other minor sports do. Too much expectation was built around Lauren Boyle, who missed the 800m freestyle final by one spot.

ATHLETICS
Rio dividends: 1 silver,
3 bronze
Tokyo market precis: Medallists Val Adams (31) and Nick Willis (33) might be getting on but both proved they're still near the top of their disciplines. Bronzes to Tom Walsh (24) and Eliza McCartney (19) means athletics will remain at the forefront of the country's Olympic sporting ambitions. Add in 21-year-old Jacko Gill to challenge in shot put. The onus must also go on the development of young throwers like 22-year-old Tina Hakeai in the discus.

CANOEING
Rio dividends: 1 gold,
1 silver, 1 bronze
Tokyo market precis: At 27, Lisa Carrington is presumably good for another campaign. Her ascension into the triple Olympic medallist ranks ensures she remains the face of the sport. However, a fifth for the women's K4 500m crew showed a diversity of talent that bodes well for the sport's future. Add to that an unexpected Games highlight with Luuka Jones' silver in the canoe slalom at her third Games. Expect to see more Kiwis out paddling this summer.

CYCLING
Rio dividends: 1 silver
Tokyo market precis: With a solitary silver on the back of $26.471 million in taxpayer funding, Cycling New Zealand will be wearing their brown trousers into the funding debate. However, their failure to reach a four-medal quota (after BMX rider Sarah Walker's injury) is hedged by the investment in Cambridge's Avantidrome and the fact they are not lacking talent given their seven top-eight placings. Yes, they need a trim but a swag of talented riders cannot be ignored. In All Blacks parlance, it's best to employ the Graham Henry-Richie McCaw 2007 perseverance policy for now.

EQUESTRIAN
Rio dividends: Four rails came between gold and nothing
Tokyo market precis: Might need to have a portion of their $9.11 million portfolio divested to reflect no medals, although Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II were on the cusp of breaking down a 32-year-old eventing team gold frontier when they entered the showjumping ring. Todd is 60, but the sport is also blessed with maturing talent, notably Clarke Johnstone, who finished the best of the Kiwis in sixth at Rio, Tim and Jonelle Price and Jock Paget. Veterans Blyth Tait and Andrew Nicholson could also return to prominence.

GOLF
Rio dividends: 1 silver
Tokyo market precis: Silver medallist Lydia Ko should only get better and remain capable of replicating her feat in four years. Ryan Fox and Danny Lee have time on their side, although there is likely to be an influx of golfers, fresh from avoiding the overblown Zika virus threat, who will tee up in Tokyo. Coming from a fully professional sport, the only funding investment they are likely to get is to represent New Zealand at the next Olympics.

HOCKEY
Rio dividends: The medal hunt extends to 44 years
Tokyo market precis: The women matched their world ranking but that won't alleviate the pain. It was the same scenario they faced in London: win a game to collect bronze. They finished fourth. The men had a shattering conclusion, leading Germany 2-0 with five minutes left, only to concede three goals, the last in the final second. They finished seventh and their world ranking is eighth, but that's minimal consolation. The core of both groups are young and experienced so expect investment in them to be maintained.

ROWING
Rio dividends: 2 gold,
1 silver
Tokyo market precis: The programme's funding levels are under threat after mercurial performances in Rio. Four of the five medallists had been on the podium in London and the medal haul slipped from five to three. Before HPSNZ reaches for the scythe, there are mitigating circumstances. The country's proportion of high performance athletes has grown exponentially this century and the coaching base has broadened beyond Dick Tonks. In addition, the focus on the fourth-placed women's and sixth-placed men's eights has always been on Tokyo. Rowing bosses will claim a lack of medals is the sacrifice for seeking long-term success in bigger boats.

RUGBY SEVENS
Rio dividends: 1 silver
Tokyo market precis: Challenged for New Zealand's biggest Rio disappointment with $10.235 million invested across both campaigns. The women delivered silver, creditable against dominant Australia. The men lost three of their first four games, including their quarter-final. The results should hasten a decision on how much New Zealand Rugby and HPSNZ prioritise sevens. Whether taxpayers like it or not, rugby's the national sport and the Olympics are arguably its most prominent international stage. It's hard to argue the sport deserves more but, if they invest less, their campaigns could suffer against big Games spenders.

SAILING
Rio dividends: 1 gold,
2 silver, 1 bronze
Tokyo market precis: The sailing team equalled the country's record yield of four medals from Barcelona. All the medallists are young enough to compete again but some, like 49er gold medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, may graduate into America's Cup ranks. Kiwi crews featured in the medal races of all seven classes contested. The result vindicated Yachting New Zealand's selection policy, which rejected spots in three classes they didn't consider up to medal standard.

SHOOTING
Rio dividends: 1 silver
Tokyo market precis: Trap shooter Natalie Rooney justified her drop-in-the-bucket $20,000 taxpayer investment by delivering the country's first Rio medal. Suddenly, people who didn't know a gun's butt from its barrel were tuning into the range action. Rooney, after bagging New Zealand's first medal in the sport for 48 years, can expect a boost. HPSNZ might not be so trigger-happy to fund anyone else, although Chloe Tipple in the skeet and Ryan Taylor in the 50m rifle prone both gained top-16 placings.

TRIATHLON
Rio dividends: Zero medals in eight years
Tokyo market precis: New Zealand dominated this event in its nascent period but the world has caught up and moved on. The men's arm of the sport, with Ryan Sissons finishing 17th and Tony Dodds 21st, must prepare for some HPSNZ austerity. Andrea Hewitt (7th) and Nicky Samuels (13th) fared better. Athletes continue to progress through the system but their current capability is not enough to suggest a guaranteed return on investment.

OTHER SPORTS
GYM SPORTS, FOOTBALL, JUDO, TAEKWONDO, TENNIS, WEIGHTLIFTING, WRESTLING
Rio dividends: No medals
Tokyo market precis: These representatives will struggle for increased investment. The exception might be 19-year-old trampolinist Dylan Schmidt who, in his maiden Games, boinged to seventh.

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