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A team of eleven top-ranked athletes has been named today to represent New Zealand in Judo at the upcoming Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The seven men and four women are expected to be strong performers at the July games with Olympians Moira de Villers (London 2012, 70kg) and Timothy Slyfield (Sydney 2000, +100kg) joining Jason Koster (100kg), Ryan Dill-Russell (90kg), Mark Brewer (81kg) and Ivica Pavlinic (81kg) as well as Darcina Manuel (57kg) among those selected. Nine of team are currently ranked inside the top three in the Commonwealth. 

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith welcomed the athletes to the team. We are delighted to have been able to confirm such a strong group of athletes for Glasgow, she said. The bulk of those named are sitting at, or near, the top of Commonwealth rankings and inside the world top 25. We look forward to an exciting three days of competition.

New Zealand Judo coach Robert Levy says a number of athletes are in medal contention and are committed to top performances.

Three of our athletes are permanently based offshore and have been travelling extensively to ensure they are best placed for competition in Glasgow, he said, referring to Manuel, Pavlinc and Brewer (eds. ranked number one, two and four respectively).

Ivica is number two in the Commonwealth and recently placed top 16 at the World Championships in Rio and, alongside number one ranked Darcina and Mark, sitting at number four, who have both been controlling their divisions in Oceania.

He added that Dill-Russell is going into what is expected to be his last Commonwealth Games in good shape.

Hes never been fitter or more powerful and has been single mindedly working towards Glasgow for two years. Hes currently ranked at the top of his Commonwealth field and with Judo not on the programme for the 2018 games he will be giving it his all at Glasgow.

Tim Slyfield has a wealth of experience and is a Commonwealth bronze medallist. Hes beaten the best in the world and is sitting third in the Commonwealth. He also has the ability to perform very well this July.

The team will take part in a final training camp in New Zealand this Queens Birthday weekend prior to heading for Europe and a pre-Games camp in the Netherlands ahead of the Commonwealth Games on July 23.

New Zealand has won a total of six Commonwealth Games medals.

The New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team now numbers 82 with the final team size expected to be around 220 athletes. Selections will conclude in mid-June with the namings of the Hockey, Rugby Sevens and Netball teams.    

The team is:

Men

Adrian Leat - 26yrs, -73kg; Hometown/Residence - Northshore, Auckland, Commonwealth Ranking #6

Mark Brewer - 25yrs, -81kg; Hometown -Motueka, Residence - Sydney, CW Rank #4

Ivica Pavlinic - 25yrs, - 81kg, Hometown - Zagreb, Croatia, Residence - Queensland, CW Rank #2

Ryan Dill-Russell - 30yrs, -90kg, Hometown/Residence - Auckland, CW Rank #1 (born SA)

Jason Koster - 31yrs, -100kg Hometown - Christchurch, Residence- Christchurch, CW Rank #1

Tim Slyfield - 39yrs, -100kg Hometown - Auckland, Residence -Auckland/London, CW Rank #3

Sam Rosser - 26yrs, +100kg, Hometown/Residence - Northcote, CW Rank #2

Women

Chanel Kavanagh- 19yrs, -48kg; - Hometown - Tauranga, Res - Mount Maunganui, CW Rank #2

Patti Grogan - 25yrs,-52kg, Hometown - Gisborne, Residence - Auckland, CW Rank #2

Darcina Manuel - 21yrs, -57kg, Hometown - Gisborne, Residence - Perth, CW Rank #1

Moira De Villiers - 24yrs, -70kg, Hometown - Auckland, Residence - CHC, CW rank #3 (Born SA)

For more information contact Ashley Abbott, Communications Manager, New Zealand Olympic Committee ashley@olympic.org.nz


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