The first group of New Zealand Olympians for this year's games in Tokyo have been announced this morning with the Kiwi sailors selected.
The first seven sailors have been named to represent New Zealand on the water in Tokyo with 2016 FX gold medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke along with Rio silver medallists and 49erFX duo Alex Maloney and Molly Meech headlining the squad.
Joining them will be 2016 bronze medallist Sam Meech in the Laser class along with Michah Wilkinson and Erica Dawson, who will compete in the Nacra 17.
More sailors are expected to be named at a later date but selection processes for those final spots are still ongoing.
Sam Meech says he is excited to don the silver fern at a second Olympics.
"It's so cool to represent your country," he said.
"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 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 outside of the sailing and I can't wait to experience it again."
New Zealand's sailing team look promising to deliver medals in Tokyo after Tuke and Burling added two world titles to their accolades in recent months as well as winning last year's Olympic test event at the same venue that will be used later this year in Enoshima.
Maloney and Molly Meech also look promising but won't know how they stack up against the competition until they arrive in Japan after missing last month's World Championships, with Maloney nursing a broken foot suffered in training.
New Zealand Olympic Committee boss Kereyn Smith congratulated the seven on their selections for Tokyo and said she looked forward to more Kiwi athletes being named.
Smith said in a statement this morning more than 200 athletes across approximately 20 sports are likely to be named for New Zealand this year, with those heading to Tokyo to be named between today and early July.