A dozen athletes working towards the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games have gathered for a day of competition to celebrate the 100-day to go milestone.
Athletes from a range of Commonwealth Games sports including triathlon, weightlifting, lawn bowls, swimming, diving, athletics, basketball, hockey, gymnastics and netball gathered at AUT Millennium to compete in a multi-sport competition to mark the occasion.
The event showcased the diversity which makes the Commonwealth Games so special, with para athletes and able bodied athletes competing side by side, as they will in Birmingham in a few months time.
New Zealand Team Chef de Mission Nigel Avery says while the morning was a bit of fun, the 100 day milestone is a great reminder that it’s now crunch time.
“This is where the rubber hits the road and training goes up a notch,” said Avery.
“There’s a lot happening between now and Games time, including a large number of international training camps and competition as our sports and athletes prepare for this pinnacle event.
“While there's still a lot of work to do we're really looking forward to Birmingham 2022. We’re expecting fantastic facilities and amazing competition, and our athletes are really excited to get there and show what they can do.”
Tokyo 2020 bronze medal winner Hayden Wilde (triathlon) was at the celebration and is working towards selection to the team.
"It'd be an awesome experience to make it to Birmingham and get to wear the fern again," said the 24-year-old.
“I haven’t competed at a Commonwealth Games before so it’d be pretty special for me. I’m feeling really good in my racing and this 100 day milestone makes it pretty real. As far as I’m concerned the Games can’t come soon enough, bring it on.”
Hammer athlete Julia Ratcliffe is also working towards the New Zealand Team and will be hoping to defend the gold medal she won at Gold Coast 2018.
“The Commonwealth Games are always special,” said Ratcliffe.
“There’s so much great competition and it really does mean a lot to us as New Zealanders. I’m tracking well and there's three of us New Zealand female hammer athletes hoping to make it to Birmingham which would be pretty amazing.”
Birmingham 2022 will welcome 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories for 11 days of thrilling competition, from 28 July – 8 August 2022.
The New Zealand Team will be represented by up to 230 athletes, competing in around 20 sports and four para sports. Women’s T20 cricket and 3x3 basketball are debuting on the programme.