Watch: Kiwi Youth Commonwealth Games champions arrive home after record-breaking medal haul

New Zealand's record breaking Youth Commonwealth Games team have returned home this morning, welcomed by a legion of passionate friends and family packed into Auckland International Airport's arrivals hall.

The games hosted by Nassau, Bahamas saw New Zealand bring home their most prolific medal haul in more than a decade, claiming a whopping 31 to finish third on the overall tally behind superpowers England and Australia.

Of the 31 medals claimed by Kiwi athletes, eight golds highlighted the impressive haul, with a further 14 silvers and nine bronzes also on show from the Commonwealth Games' stars of tomorrow.

It was in the pool that New Zealand were most dominant, with 20 of the 31 medals won by the swimmers, with Lewis Clareburt individually bringing home seven medals alone.

Three medals were won by the boxing contingent, including a bronze medal to young Pelea Fruean, the 16-year old cousin of WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker.

Six medals were bought home by the athletics team including gold to Connor Bell, 16, coached by Olympic legend Valerie Adams.

The beach volleyball side and cyclists grabbed one medal each to round out the most successful games for New Zealand as a nation in the history of the Youth Commonwealth Games.

The Kiwi contingent arrived home this morning, with their record 31 medals in tow. Source: 1 NEWS

'We want clear governance' – Football NZ not off the hook despite Heraf’s exit

His future was always in question but today Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf has walked away from New Zealand Football.

His resignation the latest of a string of exits from the organisation, leaving New Zealand Football on the hunt for a new women’s coach and technical director.

But the pressure is on those remaining to get things right.

Former Football Ferns captain Maia Jackman, who was the physio on the Spain tour earlier this year, said she saw first-hand the relationship between player and coach disintegrate.

"It was sad," she said.

"You could see some fear in the girls when they were playing which I’ve not seen – ever."

Maia Jackman feels NZ Football could move forward 'leaps and strides' after today's announcement. Source: 1 NEWS

Heraf created a first in New Zealand sport with 13 Football Ferns complaining of intimidation and scare tactics in written letters to the governing body.

That sparked an independent review which not long after saw chief executive Andy Martin resign and the Austrian put on special leave.

1 NEWS understands Heraf returned to Football NZ’s headquarters last night and cleared out his office.

While Football NZ says Heraf will continue to participate in the independent review, their approach is frustrating other stakeholders in the game, including the NZ professional footballers association.

"We want to see some clear, clear governance," Harry Ngata said on behalf of the association.

"Some clear transparency around how our game is facilitated."

Jackman added removing Heraf was only half the problem – the women’s game still needs to be resurrected from the fallout.

"It’s bigger than Andreas leaving.

"There’s bigger things that need to be resolved so that the environment within the whole organisation is good because it’s top-down really."

The first big decision might be needed soon with the Ferns beginning their World Cup qualifying in four months.

Players and stakeholders alike expect the entire organisation to firm up after the saga. Source: 1 NEWS


Watch: Meet the King Country teen gunning to be the world's best motorsport rider

Ngaroma's rising motorsport star Rachael Archer is training in her own backyard, and it's paying off on the world stage.

1 NEWS reporter Michelle Prendiville spoke with 16-year-old Rachael Archer. Source: 1 NEWS

Archer is just 16 year's old and the first female to win an all gender cross country class in New Zealand, after taking out the National under 200cc Championship this year.

While she is eligible for juniors she chooses to compete against the top male and female cross country riders with the race duration anywhere between two to four hours.

But while Archer's beating all the boys there's one man she's always chasing - her father Kevin Archer.

The father-daughter duo recently represented New Zealand at the Hattah Desert Race in Australia where Archer was the youngest rider ever to complete the course and the second woman home. Her dad was runner up in the master's division.

Archer is tracking even closer towards a professional race team - something she's aiming for as early as next year.

"The plan is to be the best and that's what I'm going to keep aiming towards," she says.

The tough as nails King Country teen is back in action in September competing in the tail end of America's prestigious Grand National cross country event.


‘Write me off at your own peril’ – Mahe Drysdale determined to retain NZ's single sculls seat from Kiwi rival Robbie Manson

Out on the water at Lake Karapiro, you can hear Mahe Drysdale from a mile away - and he's not afraid to make some noise about just what he wants to achieve.

Both Drysdale and Kiwi rival Robbie Manson are competing for the coveted single sculls seat at this year’s world championships and the two-time Olympic champion isn’t holding back on or off the water.

"I don't want to give anyone else a chance in my seat," he said.

"It’s been my seat since 2005 - I want it to be my seat through to 2020."

After his nail biting win at the Rio Olympics, Drysdale took a break and is now trying to reclaim the single sculls seat from world record holder Manson, but while it's been a frustrating chase, he says he's almost back to his best.

Trouble is, Manson is only getting faster.

"I’m as fitter and stronger if not fitter and stronger than I was this time last year," Manson said.

"For me, it’s been about fine tuning that technique."

Last year, the 28-year-old smashed the world record but disappointed when it came to the World Champs. He's desperate to redeem himself this time round.

Manson has age and speed on his side while Drysdale has experience and history.

But what the 39-year-old doesn't have is time.

While he is closing the gap over longer rows, the 2 kilometre race distance is still where he’s struggling for pace.

With just under six weeks until the final selection regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland, Drysdale has a long way to go.

Over the past month, the average margin between him and Manson has increased from eight to 12 seconds over 2000 metres.

But Drysdale warns that’s all part of the story.

"Write me off at your own peril," he said.

"It’s something that I’ve done over and over again and I’m very confident in myself."

The 2016 gold medallist says he’s nearing his best – but he’ll need something special to catch the world record holder. Source: 1 NEWS

'Might be a tear in the eye' – Cromwell welcomes hockey world for historic tournament

The Central Otago town is hosting this year's Tri-Series between NZ, Australia and Japan. Source: 1 NEWS