Bond named among world's fittest

Hamish Bond during last year's Tour of Southland. Photo: Getty Images
Hamish Bond during last year's Tour of Southland. Photo: Getty Images
The All Blacks have been overlooked but Kiwi rower-turned-cyclist Hamish Bond has been ranked among the fittest athletes in the world by Sports Illustrated.

The US outlet included the Olympic gold medal winning rower in their 'Fittest 50' sports people as they assembled an expert panel made up of high performance experts and physical trainers to compile their lists of 25 men and women from around the world.

New Zealand's most revered sportsmen – the world champion All Blacks – were nowhere to be seen and indeed Bond was the only Kiwi to feature.

The 32-year-old Dunedin product came in at number 19 behind international superstars such as NBA icon LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, Irish UFC combatant Conor McGregor, Serbian tennis supremo Novac Djokovic, and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bond may have left rowing behind and put himself outside his comfort zone as he looks to make his mark in road cycling, but his ability to switch sports successfully only reinforced why he was worthy of inclusion.

"A two-time Olympic gold medalist in the coxless pair at London 2012 and Rio '16 and world champion for six consecutive years, New Zealand's Hamish Bond dominated rowing for nearly a decade," read Bond's brief.

"But the 32-year-old is now looking to make his mark in a second sport, switching to road cycling with an eye on Tokyo 2020—clear evidence of his peak conditioning."

Bond's place inside the top 20 saw him beat out the world's top golfer Brooks Koepka (25), 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas, ultrarunner Jim Walmsley, American swimmer Caleb Dressel, Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, and Canadian ice hockey star Connor McDavid.

The top five are made up of French Decathlete Kevin Mayer, Djokovic, Milwaukee Bucks' 'Greek Freak' Giannis Antetokounmpo, with New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley taking owning the No 1 spot.

Unfortunately no Kiwi's made it on to the women's list, which includes former world No 1 tennis gun Caroline Wozniacki (22), US skiing champ Lindsey Vonn (20), US tennis star Serena Williams (10), and Brazillian UFC star Amanda Nunes (7), while 21-year-old US gymnast Simone Biles claimed the top ranking.

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