Liam Malone, Anna Grimaldi, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke all named Members of NZOM after stellar results in Rio

Following their golden moments in Rio, Anna Grimaldi, Liam Malone and the winning Men's 49er pair of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have all been named Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit in this year's New Year's Honours List.

Thousands of people gathered to see the double gold medallist honoured with the key to the city. Source: 1 NEWS

The Kiwi Bladerunner

All four athletes competed on the world's biggest stage this year with Burling and Tuke taking gold medals in sailing at the Olympics, while Grimaldi and Malone also secured gold medals at the Paralympics.

Malone took home gold in the men's 200m T44 and men's 400m T44 events and set Paralympic records in both events.

He also won silver in the men's 100m T44.

The "Kiwi Bladerunner" also caught the world's attention away from the track with his outgoing personality and memorable quotes that saw him compare himself to being "New Zealand's cyborg overlord".

The long jumper was still in awe of her feat as she had the medal draped around her neck. Source: Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

"She's going to do something really big here"

Grimaldi won the gold medal in the women's long jump T47 with a distance of 5.62m, breaking her personal best by 21cm and extended her New Zealand record of 5.41m which she sete the previous year at the IPC Athletics World Championships.

Grimaldi was sitting in second place behind Yunidis Castillo of Cuba who was leading with a jump of 5.59m - a mark the young Kiwi initially thought she hadn't come close to.

"I was definitely thinking that wasn't any bigger than my last jump, I was kinda like, that wasn't that good and Raylene my coach was just saying yes it was, it was bigger, just wait," said Grimaldi.

"When she went into the long jump run up for the last jump it was just... you just saw the mongrel in her eyes and you just... You know it, you see it in an athlete and I just thought to myself, she's going to do something really big here and sure enough it did," said Grimaldi's coach, Raylene Bates.

The distance was announced and the rest became history.

The 19-year-old also represented New Zealand in sprinting disciplines in Rio.

Burling will doing the carrying, but will have co-captain Blair Tuke close by. Source: 1 NEWS


Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have done everything else in their already-historic careers so entering the NZ Order of Merit together as members should come as no surprise.

Burling and Tuke were the first sailors to win four consecutive World Championships in the 49ers class (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).

For the four years between the London and Rio Olympics they were unbeaten in major regattas in the 49er class, winning a total of 28.

Burling is also the youngest sailer to represent New Zealand at an Olympic Games after he travelled to Beijing in 2008 at just 17 years of age before going on to skipper the winning boat at the 2013 Youth America's Cup.

The pair were named International Sailing Federation Rolex World Male Sailors of the Year in 2015.

Burling and Tuke were named Yachting New Zealand Sailors of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The pair were also the first Kiwi Olympians selected as a pair to be New Zealand's flag bearer at the opening ceremony.

They now prepare for the 2017 America's Cup as part of Emirates Team New Zealand's campaign.

Rowing NZ not panicking despite horror World Champs campaign - 'We're in a pretty good position'

It was a day of disappointment on the final day of the World Champs in Bulgaria but Rowing NZ’s chairman says there's no need to panic.

New Zealand lost all their world titles and world record holder single sculler Robbie Manson failed to deliver, coming 5th for the second time at a world champs.

Women's double sculls rower Liv Loe summed up the feeling of the squad to 1 NEWS.

"We were definitely gutted, we came here to win."

Instead, Loe and Brooke Donoghue picked up silver - not even their signature sprint finish could close the gap on the Lithuanians.

"A few crews really jumped out on us and we worked incredibly hard through that middle to try and get it back," Loe said

"To be honest, it's not quite what we wanted but we are happy with our race," Donoghue added.

The last time New Zealand left a world champs without a world title was 2001 and to put this in perspective, this time four years ago, the same time in the Olympic cycle, New Zealand came away with nine medals - six of them gold.

Rowing NZ chair Gerry Dwyer isn't worried though.

"It is disappointing but we have been accused of peaking too early before. Going into Rio, that was a problem for us.

"I think we're in a pretty good position right now with eight finalists all in Olympic events."

Loe, however, say there's no excuses.

"Go back home and work harder."



NFL in shock after star player retires from struggling team at half time

Bills cornerback Vontae Davis informed coach Sean McDermott he was quitting the team at halftime, and then announced he was retiring after 10 NFL seasons a few hours following the game.

"This isn't how I pictured retiring from the NFL," he wrote in a statement posted on the NFL's Twitter account. "But today on the field, reality hit me and hard. I shouldn't be out there anymore."

Davis' abrupt departure didn't sit well with his now-former teammates who went on to lose 31-20 to the Chargers.

"I don't have nothing to say about Vontae. I'll give him a little bit more respect than he showed us today as far as quitting," defensive end Lorenzo Alexander said.



Watch: Furious NFL star Tom Brady screams at teammates to 'do their job' in big loss to Jaguars

Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes, three in the first half, and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat an irate Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 31-20 this afternoon in a rematch of last season's AFC championship game.

Bortles connected with Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole and Austin Seferian-Jenkins for scores in the first 30 minutes, the second time he's done that in his NFL career.

Bortles completed 29 of 45 passes for 377 yards, with the four TDs and an interception. It was the best game of his five-year career.

It led to a fiery pep-talk from Brady and coaches at half time, with cameras catching the New England quarterback yelling at teammates to "do your job".

It didn't help though. 

Jacksonville led 14-0 at that point, but unlike the game eight months ago — which had much more at stake, of course — coach Doug Marrone didn't sit on the lead.

The Jaguars kept throwing even with an 11-point lead in the final minutes of the game. They now have their best start since 2006.

Marrone was widely criticized for getting conservative in the title game. The Patriots trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter of that one before rallying to win 24-20 and get to the Super Bowl.

Brady never looked comfortable in the rematch. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, both to Chris Hogan. He was sacked twice.



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