Published Friday 11 June 2010

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has named today a twelve-strong gymnastics team to the Commonwealth Games today. The five men and seven women are led by the men’s artistic team whose grit and determination has seen them develop to become a real medal prospect at Delhi.The most experienced in the team is Mark Holyoake who is heading for his third Commonwealth Games and currently holds a Guinness record for the most circles in a minute on a pommel horse. At 27 years old, Holyoake is known as the Grandad of the team and is nearly ten years older than Brandon Field (18) who, according to coach David Philips, has come out of nowhere to make the Commonwealth cut. Also making up the men’s artistic team is National Champion Patrick Peng, North Harbour’s Mish Koudinov and Christchurch’s Matthew Palmer.Philips, who has been head coach at the Tri-Star club in Mount Roskill where four of the five men train, says the athletes are ambitious and have a strong work ethic.“The gymnasts have their sights set on high goals and they are working well as a team. They leave no stone unturned and have been very through in their approach.The gymnasts based out of the Tri-Star club recently made a successful application for a $20,000 Cadbury Chocolate Grant which will see them sell 4,000 bars of chocolate to fund their Delhi campaign.Women are represented in the team to Delhi in both artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and all selected athletes have met the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s top six selection criteria. The team is made up from gymnasts from Auckland and Christchurch.New Zealand Olympic Committee Barry Maister said he’s delighted to welcome the athletes to the Commonwealth Games Team. “Gymnastics is a popular sport and a hugely competitive internationally. In our Commonwealth history we have won just two gymnastics golds.” he said. “It is therefore satisfying to see young New Zealanders excelling in both the artistic and rhythmic disciplines. The men in particular are raising the bar and could well be a medal prospect in Delhi.”Gymsports New Zealand congratulates all 12 athletes named, along with the coaches and clubs, on their selection and wishes them every success at the Commonwealth Games. “It’s extremely pleasing to see that areas other than Auckland are developing top quality athletes,” said Gymsport CEO Sarah Ashmole. “We are delighted athletes from Christchurch are also heading to Delhi which is all credit to the hard work that has been put in by the clubs.”

 

The team is:

Rhythmic Gymnastics

 Keziah Oliver - Christchurch

Kimberley Robson - Christchurch

Mereana Rademakers - Christchurch

 

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Holly Moon - Christchurch

Lani Hohepa - Christchurch

Jordan Rae - Counties-Manukau

Briana Mitchell - North Harbour

Men’s Artistic Gymnastics

Misha Koudinov - North Harbour

Matthew Palmer - Christchurch

Patrick Peng - Auckland

Mark Holyoake - Auckland

Brandon Field - Auckland

 

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