Silver Ferns first game with a new captain
A new-look Silver Ferns side lead by Australian-born shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio, began their 2020 campaign with a commanding 64-48 victory over England in the Nations Cup in Nottingham this morning.
Ekenasio – New Zealand’s best player in their 2019 Netball World Cup win – was joined by vice captains Jane Watson and Gina Crampton in a new-look leadership group.
The Ferns were missing 562 test caps worth of experience from the self-titled ‘Fossils’ core of Laura Langman and defender Katrina Rore – both taking a break – and shooter Maria Folau and defender Casey Kopua, who have both retired since last year’s World Cup triumph.
But that didn’t stop Dame Noeline Taurua’s side dominating most of the match with slick defence and sublime shooting.
First Ever NZ Gold Medal at Youth Winter Olympics
The New Zealand Team has claimed it’s first ever Winter Youth Olympic Games gold medal, with Katya Blong’s ice hockey team winning the 3×3 tournament.
The 14-year-old from Auckland combined with her mixed nation team for a dominant performance in the final, defeating their opposition 6-1.
“Oh man I was so happy I almost cried. It’s pretty crazy, I never thought we’d win but we did and it was so sick,” said Blong.
Double delight for Olympic kayaker Luuka Jones at New Zealand Open
Luuka Jones has kick-started a big canoe slalom year with a double win at the New Zealand Open in the Manawatū on Sunday.
The triple Olympian – who looks assured of going to her fourth Games in Tokyo this year – edged out Frenchwoman Camille Prigent in the women’s K1 final on the Mangahao River near Shannon.
She then backed that up in the afternoon with a classy C1 victory, heading off Spain’s Klara Olazabel and Andorra’s Andorra’s Monica Doria Vilarrubla in the final.
Sophie Devine named new White Ferns captain
World-leading Twenty20 all-rounder Sophie Devine has been named as the new captain of the White Ferns.
The announcement was made on Thursday at the Basin Reserve in Wellington by New Zealand Cricket.
Devine is the third captain of the White Ferns in the past 18 months, replacing Amy Sattherthwaite who was appointed in September 2018. Sattherwaite replaced Suzie Bates. Devine has previously been the vice-captain of the side.
Devine has known about her new role for a month and is “chuffed” about the “exciting opportunity”.
“It’s something that you sort of dream of, isn’t it?” she said.
“I didn’t think it would happen during my cricket career.
“I just want to continue to build on the fantastic work that both Suzie Bates… and Amy Satterthwaite have have bought into the side and really driving the culture behind the team.”
Halberg Awards Finalists Announced
The Halberg Foundation has announced 26 finalists for six categories at the 57th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards – New Zealand’s pre-eminent event to celebrate and honour sporting achievements from 2019.
The ISPS Handa Halberg Awards judges reviewed 70 nominations from National Sports Organisations to create the shortlist, recognising achievements from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019.