The New Zealand Olympic Committee has named a team of seven wrestlers to the New Zealand Team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Included in the team are Glasgow 2014 bronze medal winners Tayla Ford (women’s 62kgs) and Sam Belkin (men’s 97kg).
They’ll be joined by Games debutants Toby Fitzpatrick (men’s 86kg), Ana Moceyawa (women’s 57kgs), Michelle Montague (Women’s 68kg), Akash Khullar (men’s 74kg) and Brahm Richards (men’s 65kgs).
28 year old Ana Moceyawa says she’s been working towards Games selection for the past three years.
“I’ve been focussing on this since 2015 so I feel like all the hard work has paid off. I’m feeling really positive about the Games, my goal is to make the final. I’ve put all the right processes in place to get to the final and now I just have to trust in my training and do my thing.”
Above: Ana Moceyawa and Tayla Ford
New Zealand Olympic Wrestling Union Technical Director Iain Adamson expects the team to perform well at the Games.
“This a great mix of experienced wrestlers and exciting young talent. We have high hopes for this team with many doing well at the Commonwealth Champs in South Africa and the Oceania Championships in Tahiti last year,” he said.
“This will also be a great experience for the Games debutants and one which we expect to greatly contribute to their future in wrestling.”
Above: Tayla Ford and Sam Belkin
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“We’re very pleased to welcome these seven wrestlers to our Commonwealth Games team. It’s fantastic to have our two medal winners from Glagow back in the fold and I’m sure they’ll be able to offer some valuable advice to the younger team members. We look forward to seeing them compete on the Gold Coast.”
Wrestling will be contested April 12-14th at the Games.
Above: Tayla Ford winning a bout at Glasgow 2014
The naming takes the total number of athletes in the New Zealand team to 160.Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games