The best of the best

By Jared Thompson | Oct. 26, 2021

We take a lot of pride in the success of our customers off the field, and on! Congrats to the Black Ferns, New Zealand's national rugby sevens team, named the Best Female Team at the Tokyo Olympics Games by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

From the New Zealand Olympic Committee

The New Zealand women’s rugby sevens team has won a prestigious award, recognising them as the best female team to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The team received the Tokyo 2020 Best Female Team Award virtually at the ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees) Awards, which were held in Crete this morning NZT.

Team captain and New Zealand Team Te Pou Hapai Wahine (female flagbearer) Sarah Hirini says the team was thrilled to accept the award.

“This is a huge honour for us. It was unreal to win that gold medal and this award just makes that campaign even more special,” said Hirini.

"We're really proud of our achievements and success over the last five years and we're excited for what's next."

NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith passed on her congratulations to the team.

“New Zealand was inspired by the efforts of our women’s sevens team in Tokyo,” said Smith. “This team put years of hard work into an amazing Olympic campaign and truly deserve this award.”

The women’s sevens team claimed it’s first ever Olympic gold medal at the Games.

In the final at the Tokyo Games the New Zealanders beat France 26-12 in a commanding performance to seal their spot as Olympic champions. The athletes celebrated with a powerful haka, just one of the ways they incorporate Māori culture into the team and celebrate their mixed heritage.

The win topped off a huge campaign which began following the loss of the gold medal match to Australia at Rio 2016. In the years following, the team rebuilt and strung together an amazing run to claim every title available, including winning four successive World Series titles, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships, before claiming the coveted Olympic gold.

The New Zealand women’s sevens players also showed their lighter side at Tokyo 2020, with straight talking, entertaining post-match interviews which went viral and promoted the game of rugby sevens. The team for Tokyo was co-coached by Allan Bunting and Cory Sweeney.

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