Seven sailors have been announced as the first of New Zealand's athletes for this year's Olympics - three of who are from Tauranga.
The sailing team has significant Olympic Games experience and includes Tauranga's Peter Burling and his sailing partner Blair Tuke, who led the New Zealand team into the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Games and went on to win gold in the 49er class.
Rio 2016 49erFX silver medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have also been named, as well as Laser bronze medallist Sam Meech. The Meech siblings are also from Tauranga.
The remainder of the team includes Nacra 17 sailors Micah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson, the only Olympic newcomers in the initial selection, with further crews to be considered following a series of upcoming World Championships.
New Zealand have a proud Olympic sailing legacy, having collected 22 medals since the first gold won by Peter Mander and Jack Cropp in the Sharpie class in Melbourne in 1956.
Sam was among the medallists in Rio and has been one of the world's best Laser sailors over the past four years. The 28-year-old is excited to be given the opportunity to represent New Zealand at a second Olympic Games.
"It's so cool to represent your country," he says.
"We do so many regattas but the Olympic Games is special because it feels like you're sailing for more than yourself.
"I didn't really know what to expect in Rio. I tried talking to a number of people to get an idea of what it was going to be like but you never really know until you experience it.
"There's so much going on outside of the sailing and I can't wait to experience it again."
Burling and Tuke will be among the favourites to win gold in the 49er in Tokyo having added two 49er world titles in recent months to the four they won in the last Olympic cycle.
The pair, who took a couple of years off the Olympic class to sail in both the America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, also won last year's Olympic test event.
Meanwhile, another Tauranga athlete hoping to join New Zealand's Olympic team includes boxer Ariane Nicholson, who is currently in Jordan for the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The tournament runs until March 11, with Nicholson due to fight on Friday.