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Motocrosser at top in high-altitude Mexico

Last updated 12:00 17/03/2014
Levi Sherwood
Red Bull
RAREFIED AIR: Levi Sherwood staying in touch with his soaring bike en route to winning at Mexico City on Saturday.

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Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves watching Palmerston North's Levi Sherwood mixing it with the world's best freestyle motocross riders.

He won the opening round of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in the thin air at Mexico on Saturday. That was his seventh win in his six years on the circuit, which plays in front of huge crowds.

He will also do his death-defying flips at Osaka, Madrid, Munich and Pretoria.

Injury forced him to have one of his quietest seasons last year, with second in Dubai and third in Mexico, but he was named Manawatu's sportsperson of the year.

■ Casey-Mae Waddell could be the next big thing to come out of Manawatu hockey, via Koputaroa and Horowhenua.

The 16-year-old Nga Tawa schoolgirl was the New Zealand player of the tournament at the Oceania Youth Olympics qualifiers in Vanuatu last week. A fast front-runner, last year she played for the Central Mysticks in the national league, was Hockey Manawatu's most improved women's player (from High School Hockey Club) and has also been an equestrian showjumper.

■ Vilimoni Koroi might be a 16-year-old rugby player, but last week he trained with the full New Zealand men's sevens team at their camp in Mt Maunganui.

A sharp outside back, the Fijian lad has moved from Wanganui High School to board at Feilding High School this year and will be in the first XV. A NZ under-17 touch player, he was spotted by NZ coach Gordon Tietjens when picked for the Condor Sevens tournament team last year. He is the brother of former Te Kawau wing, Api Koroi.

■ Super Rugby will be played in Palmerston North after all this season.

All right, it's not quite the biggest deal, but the Hurricanes Development XV will play the Chiefs at Arena Manawatu at 1.30pm next Friday. The Hurricanes, coached by Manawatu academy manager Greg Fleming, have already beaten the Crusaders development XV.

■ The Shand name persists at the Manawatu Golf Club.

The original professional tournament that started almost 50 years ago was the Metalcraft event sponsored by the Shand brothers who owned the firm. They all played golf at Hokowhitu and one of them, 70-year-old Duncan, now in Auckland and who has been away for 44 years, returned and had a hole-in-one on the par-3 fourth.

■ Manawatu's Ngani Laumape is back playing rugby league for the Warriors, but not for the NRL team.

After being the star on the rise last year, he hasn't been able to break in to first grade this season and played for the Warriors' New South Wales Cup team on Saturday. They drew 12-all with the Illawarra Cutters at Eden Park.

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- Manawatu Standard

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