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NZ get trampoline spot in Rio Olympics

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/04/2016

Dylan Schmidt has qualified New Zealand a trampolining spot at an Olympics for the first time.

Five places were available at the test event in Rio and Schmidt finished second in the final.

The 19-year-old Auckland student says it's a surreal feeling and an honour to be the first New Zealander to achieve qualification.

"I just feel a huge weight off my shoulders now that this part is over and all my hard work has paid off," he said.

"I can't wait to get back in the gym and keep training hard to do the best I can in four months time."

GymSports NZ will present his nomination for selection for Rio to the NZOC in early May.

The Olympic competition in August will have a field of 16, and qualification for eight of those places was through the world championships in Denmark last November, when Schmidt finished ninth.

Coach Jarrod Heriot described his charge as a special athlete who wanted to make a statement this week after his near-miss five months ago.

"He is ready for Rio and he was determined to make the final and make New Zealand proud," Heriot said.

"To come away with the silver medal was sensational, but what's exciting is we know he can still do better."

Te Anau-born Schmidt ended his junior career with gold at the Youth Olympics in 2014.

He has had two consecutive top-16 placings at world championship level and gained bronze at the Pacific Rim championships last week.

Trampolining became part of the Olympic programme in Sydney in 2000.

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