Published Monday 07 April 2014

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has named the first athletes to represent New Zealand at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Competing in track and field, the athletes named today include several world-class international competitors in Valerie Adams (shot put), Nick Willis (1500) and Stuart Farquhar (javelin). Between them, the athletes hold three gold, two silver and one bronze from previous Commonwealth Games, and two gold and one silver from Olympic Games.

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith says she is delighted to have the team namings underway. “Glasgow 2014 will be an outstanding event for the high performance athletes confirmed to the team today, testing them against some of the best athletes in the world as well as providing them with elite multi-sport experience in the build-up to Rio 2016.”

Sarah Cowley (high jump) competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games in the heptathlon so will have multi-sport event experience to call on when she competes in Glasgow. Cowley is the latest athlete to achieve the standard, jumping 1.89 and placing second at the Australian championships over the weekend.

The other seven track and field athletes named today will all be attending their first Commonwealth Games.

Shot putters Tom Walsh and Jacko Gill form a dynamic duo in the men’s shot put and have realistic chances to win medals. They have both had recent success on the international stage with Walsh bursting onto the world stage with a bronze medal at the 2014 World Indoor championships in Poland, throwing 21.26. Gill is the current world junior champion and record holder at 23.00 with a lighter implement.

The pair met in competition for the first time in over two years at last week’s New Zealand championships with Walsh the victor in a New Zealand resident and all-comers record. Gill’s throw in second place would have won every other New Zealand championship contested.

The selection also includes African based distance runners Zane and Jake Robertson (both 5000m), who had some very good international results in 2013 and have run just outside the New Zealand records for  5000m and 10,000m respectively.

Angie Smit (800m) finished fourth at the 2013 World University Games and had her major championships debut at last year’s Moscow world championships. She will benefit from the experience when she runs in Glasgow.

Exciting young throwers Julia Ratcliffe (hammer) and Siositina Hakeai (discus) complete the initial selection. Both athletes finished fourth at the 2012 world junior championships and have continued to improve since then. Ratcliffe further improving her national record and 20 year old Hakeai improving former World Champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Beatrice Faumuina’s national U20 record.

Athletics New Zealand selection convenor Graham Seatter, a Commonwealth Games athlete the last time the Games were held in Scotland (Edinburgh 1986) is pleased the New Zealand Olympic Committee was able to confirm eleven selections today.

“This will allow those athletes who have reached to selection criteria to now concentrate on their preparation for Glasgow and perform up to their very best,“ said Seatter.

Marathon, Decathlon and Heptathlon athletes will be named in the second group of selections on in May and a final athletics selection will take place in early June.

The New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team is expected to be made up of around 200 athletes competing in 17 sports.

The New Zealand swimming team for Glasgow 2014 will be named Friday evening with Lawn Bowls, Bike and Triathlon announced the following week.

The Commonwealth Games take place 23 July – 3 August 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Selected track and field athlete details attached.

Contact

Ashley Abbott

New Zealand Olympic Committee Communications Manager

Ashley@olympic.org.nz

021 552 021

 Graham Seatter

Athletics NZ Selection Convenorgraham@athletics.org.nz 021 279 3000 Scott Goodman Athletics NZ High Performance Director scottg@athletics.org.nz 021 898 608

 Valerie Adams

  • Event – Shot Put
  • Date of Birth – 6 October 1984 (29)
  • PB - 21.24m (Oceania & NZ Record)
  • Residence –  Auckland
  • Club - Pakuranga
  • Coach – Jean-Pierre Egger
  • Olympic Champion 2008 +2012
  • World Champion 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
  • World Indoor Champion 2008, 2012, 2014
  • Commonwealth Champion 2006, 2010
  • Continental Cup Champion 2010
  • IAAF Diamond League Champion 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Unbeaten streak 46
  • Unbeaten since August 2010

Sarah Cowley

  • Event – High Jump
  • Date of Birth – 3 February 1984 (30)
  • PB – 1.91
  • Residence – Auckland
  • Club – North Harbour Bays
  • Coach – Elena Vinogradova
  • NZ Rep Olympic Games 2012 Heptathlon
  • NZ Rep Commonwealth Games 2006 Heptathlon
  • NZ Rep World University Games 2009 & 2011 Heptathlon

Stuart Farquhar

  • Event – Javelin
  • Date of Birth – 15 March 1982 (32)
  • PB – 86.31
  • Residence – Hamilton
  • Club – Hamilton City Hawks
  • Coach – Debbie Strange
  • Commonwealth Games Silver medallist 2010
  • World University Games Silver medallist 2009
  • 3 x Olympian
  • 4 x World Championships
  • 14 x New Zealand Senior Champion (13 consecutive titles)

Jacko Gill

  • Event – Shot Put
  • Date of Birth – 20 Dec 1994 (19)
  • PB – 20.38m
  • Residence – Auckland
  • Club – Takapuna
  •  Coach – Kirsten Hellier
  •  World Junior Champion 2010
  • World Youth Champion 2011
  • World Junior Champion 2012
  • Set NZ Senior Record at 16 years
  • World Junior record holder 23.00
  • World Youth best holder 24.45
  • Holder of 12 World Age best performances

Siositina Hakeai

  • Event – Discus
  • Date of Birth – 1 March 1994 (20)
  • PB – 59.65
  • Residence – Auckland
  • Club – Manurewa
  • Coach – Matt Dallow
  • No 2 NZ All-time discus
  • NZ U20, U19, U17 record holder
  •  4th place World Junior champs 2012
  • NZ Rep World Youth Champs 2011
  • NZ Rep World Junior Champs 2010, 2012
  • NZ discus champion 2012, 2013, 2014
  • NZ Shot Put champion

Julia Ratcliffe

  • Event - Hammer
  • Date of Birth – 14 July 1993 (20)
  • PB - 68.80 (NZ Record)
  • Residence –  Princeton, New Jersey, USA
  • Club - Hamilton City Hawks
  • Coach – Dave Ratcliffe
  • 4th place World Junior Champs 2012
  • 8th place World University Games 2013
  • 10th place World Youth Champs 2009
  • NZ record holder

Jake Robertson

  • Event - 5000
  • Date of Birth – 14 November 1989 (24)
  • PB - 13:15.54
  • Residence – Iten, Kenya
  • Club - Hamilton City Hawks
  • 15th place 5000m World Championships 2011
  • 28th place 5000m World Championships 2013

Zane Robertson

  • Event - 5000
  • Date of Birth – 14 November 1989 (24)
  • PB - 13:13.83
  • Residence – Addis Ababa
  • Club - Hamilton City Hawks
  • 14th place 5000m World Championships 2013
  • 12th place 3000m World Indoor Championships 2014

Angela Smit

  • Event – 800 metres
  • Date of Birth –16 Aug 1991 (22)
  • PB –2:00.31
  • Residence – Rangiora
  • Club – University of Canterbury
  • Coach – Maria Hassan
  • 4th place 800m World University Games 2013
  • 5th place 1500m World University Games 2013
  • NZ rep World Junior champs 2008, 2010
  • No 3 NZ All time 800m
  • NZ 800m champion 2012, 2013, 2014
  •  NZ 1500m champion 2014

Tom Walsh

  • Event – Shot Put
  • Date of Birth – 1 Mar 1992 (22)
  • PB – 21.26 (NZ & Oceania record)
  • Residence – Timaru
  • Club - South Canterbury
  • Coaches – Ian Baird & Andrew Maclennan
  • 3rd place World 2014 indoor championships
  • Oceania record holder
  • 5 x NZ senior shot put champion
  • NZ Discus champion 2013

Nicholas Willis

  • Event - 1500m
  • Date of Birth – 25 April 1983 (30)
  • PB - 3:30.35 NZ Record
  • Residence –  Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • Club - Hutt Valley Harriers
  • Coach – Ron Warhurst
  • Silver medallist Olympic Games 2008
  • 12th place World Championships 2011
  • 9th place Olympic Games 2012
  • Commonwealth Champion 2006
  • Bronze medallist Commonwealth Games 2010