Published Friday 11 June 2010

New Zealand’s most medalled Commonwealth Games athlete, Greg Yelavich, has been selected for his seventh Commonwealth Games and says while the competition is increasingly tough, Kiwis will be stepping up.Yelavich (53), an Olympian who has 10 Commonwealth Games medals, has been selected as part of a twelve-strong shooting team which also includes Olympian and Commonwealth gold medallist Nadine Stanton (clay target) and up-and-coming shooter and Australian ISSF 2009 champion Miles Browne-Cole (clay target).Yelavich has attended Commonwealth and Olympic games since 1986 he says the competitive landscape is changing. “The games are getting harder and harder and the competition that we face is getting smarter,” he said. “Other countries have more money but we have to be typically “New Zealand” and step up.”A strong Kiwi character was behind Sir Edmund Hillary being part of the team that first reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. This achievement is the inspiration and motivation behind the Commonwealth Games team to Delhi and it has resonated strongly with Yelavich.“I remember meeting Sir Ed as a child and later in life have met his son, Peter Hillary. He’s always been a hero.” said Yelavich “I couldn’t be more pleased that our team is about honouring him and Tenzing.”Gavin Paton, shooting team coach, is pleased with the make up of the team which includes youth and experienced and some strong pairings. “It is a strong team and I’m very pleased to see it includes young people coming through,” he said. “Overall it’s a strong team, especially in the Pairs where an experienced athlete will be matched with one of the younger ones.”Natalie Rooney (22) will be matched with Stanton (34) in the women’s Clay Target while (22) Myles Browne-Cole (22) will be paired with Allan Sinclair (39).Rooney, who has three brothers and a father who are all strong shooters, is looking forward to being a member of the Commonwealth Games team. “I’m a bit stoked really,” said the Canterbury University student. “I would like to make the medal selection in both individual and pairs. While I’m not a nervous person I’ve been focused on combating nerves ahead of the Commonwealth Games and the experienced athletes in my team will help me prepare.”Rooney and her team mates will head to Munich in July for the World Championships before returning to New Zealand and Australia for on-going preparations before the team depart for Delhi, India in October. The shooting team is the third team to be named to the Commonwealth Games squad which is expected to number 195 athletes and 100 support staff.The final selections will be made in early August and the Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, October 3 – 14 2010.New Zealand has been participating in Commonwealth Games shooting since 1978 and overall has won 49 medals in the sport. It ranks fourth on the New Zealand Commonwealth medal table. The shooting team to the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team to Delhi 2010 is:

Clay Target – women:                       

Natalie Rooney (Timaru), Nadine Stanton (Te Kauwhata) Clay Target – men:                            

Myles Browne-Cole (Pukekohe), Allan Sinclair (Otahuhu, Auckland)

Small bore (prone) – men:                 

Adrian Black (Christchurch), Ryan Taylor (Horowhenua) Small bore (prone) – women:            

Sally Johnson (Hutt Valley), Juliet Etherington (Auckland) Pistol (men)            

Greg Yelavich (Auckland), Allan Earle (Auckland) Full bore (men)                                  

Mike Collings (Te Puke), John Snowden (Ashburton) -          ends  -To find out more about the NZOC please visit www.olympic.org.nz.To find out more about the campaign to honour Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay www.29028.co.nzFor more information please contact:Ashley AbbottCommunications ManagerPh: +64 9 3750040 extn 3Mb: +64 21 552021www.olympic.org.nz