Black Sticks women’s hockey star Anita McLaren touched down in Auckland on Monday night and admitted she has waited a long time to bring gold home.
McLaren, 30, told 1 NEWS that there was reason for her teary post-match interview after her side clinched gold and defeated Australia 4-1 on Saturday.
"Yeah I know I got a bit emotional it's been a long time coming I think," said McLaren.
"I've been there for a wee while and worked so hard and to finally be able to bring it home for New Zealand it was pretty special."
McLaren has been part of the Black Sticks team since 2009 and won silver at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2014 Games in Glasgow.
"It is still surreal to have a gold medal around my neck."
The Black Sticks women's team won't get much rest and recovery with the team returning to training next Monday to prepare for the Hockey World Cup in London in July.
"We're back to our centralised campaign, we've got a World Cup coming up later this year.
"That's our bench mark performance and we have got to now continue and keep building towards our World Cup campaign."
The Black Sticks veteran admitted that she was happy to get a win over trans-Tasman rivals Australia.
"It's always good to beat the Australians but you know they are pretty tough.
“What a better way to beat them at home (Australia) and bring home a gold medal.”