The New Zealand Olympic Committee together with Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand has named 12 athletes to the New Zealand Team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Among those named to the team are Glasgow 2014 gold medal winner Richie Patterson (-85kg), silver medal winner Stanislav Chalaev (-105kg) and bronze medal winner Tracey Lambrechs (now contesting -90kg).
34 year old Richie Patterson will create history at Gold Coast 2018, becoming the first weightlifter to represent New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games.
Above: Richie Patterson competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Also in the women’s team are Aletha Boon (-58kg) and Andrea Miller (-69kg) who have previously competed at Commonwealth Games in different sporting codes. Boon represented New Zealand at the Kuala Lumpur 1998 and Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games in gymnastics, while Miller won a bronze medal in hurdles at Delhi 2010.
Rounding out the women’s team is Phillipa Patterson (-53KG), Bailey Rogers (-75KG) and Laurel Hubbard (+90KG).
Hubbard will also create history as the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games.
Joining Richie Patterson and Chalaev in the men’s team are games debutants Vester Villalon (-69kg), Cameron McTaggart (-77kg) and David Liti (+105kg). Ianne Guinares (-62kg) returns for another Commonwealth Games after placing 12th in Glasgow.
Above from left: Pip, Ianne, Vester, Richie, Tracey, Cameron, Bailey, Stas and David
Newcomer David Liti says his selection represents years of hard work.
“I’m really excited and proud to make the team, it’s a great feeling to be representing New Zealand,” he said.
“Training’s been going really well and I’m off to the World Championships in Anaheim, California in early December so that’s going to be a great build up for me.”
Above: David Liti
Tracey Lambrechs returns for her third Commonwealth Games and is enjoying the challenge presented by a new weight division.
“I’m really happy to be named in another Commonwealth Games team and I’m lifting really well at the moment. I recorded a personal best on the Gold Coast recently where I placed 2nd in the Oceania’s and 3rd in the Commonwealth so that’s a great stepping stone towards the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand high performance manager Simon Kent says the athletes can now focus on being at their best for Gold Coast 2018.
“There’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point and now these athletes can really work towards the games. We’re going to Gold Coast 2018 to compete at the top level and we want to bring back more medals than we did in Glasgow.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the weightlifters.
“This is a team brimming with experience and there’s also some really exciting young talent in the mix,” she said.
“We saw some great results at the 2017 Commonwealth & Oceania Weightlifting Championships which were held in the Gold Coast as a test event in September 2017 and we’re hugely excited about the potential of these athletes named to the New Zealand Team.”
Above: Tracey Lambrechs (right) with her bronze medal at Glasgow 2014
New Zealand has won 39 weightlifting medals at the Commonwealth Games.
The weightlifting selection brings the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team size to 25 athletes across four sports.
The weightlifting team named for Gold Coast 2018 is:
Phillipa Patterson -53kg
Alethea Boon -58kg
Andrea Miller -69kg
Bailey Rogers -75kg
Tracey Lambrechs -90kg
Laurel Hubbard +90kg
Ianne Ernesto Guinares -62kg
Vester Villalon -69kg
Cameron McTaggart -77kg
Richard Patterson -85kg
Stanislav Chalaev -105kg
David Liti +105kg