Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist, Tayla Ford headlines a six strong wrestling team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Ford will contest the women’s U68kg category and brings more than twenty years wrestling experience to her third Commonwealth Games.
“I’m just feeling an overwhelming amount of pride, happiness and excitement to have been named,” said Ford.
“I can’t wait to get over there and showcase what I’m capable of. I’ve been doing this for a long time now and have been honing my skills through coaching recently so am feeling in great form.”
2014 Youth Olympian, Brahm Richards joins her in the team and is looking forward to his second Commonwealth Games.
“I’ve been training at City Kickboxing for a few years and last year I did lots of wrestling with UFC fighter Kai Kara-France as he looked to improve his wrestling,” said Richards.
“It was a pretty awesome experience, we both learnt a lot from it and I’ll be putting some of those lessons into play as I chase a medal in Birmingham.”
Also, in the team and set to make their Commonwealth debuts in Birmingham are Cole Hawkins (men’s U74kg), Suraj Singh (men’s U57kg), Matthew Oxenham (men’s U68kg) and Michelle Montague (women's U75kg, *conditional upon confirmation of availability).
Oxenham (Christchurch) says he was over the moon to get the call saying he’d made the team.
“It was pretty unreal, I couldn’t be happier,” said Oxenham.
“It’s not long now until we go and I’m just hoping to perform as well as I can and make myself proud. I love the sport, it’s very introspective and there’s nowhere to hide, I can’t wait to get over to Birmingham and compete at that level.”
NZOC Nicki Nicol extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“Well done to all of those named today,” said Nicol.
“New Zealand has a proud wrestling history at the Commonwealth Games, and we look forward to watching these athletes add to that legacy in Birmingham. We wish them all the best for the rest of their preparation.”
Wrestling at Birmingham 2022 will begin on August 5th at Coventry Stadium and Indoor Arena. The Commonwealth Games begin in a month today.