WELLINGTON,02 FEBRUARY 2018 (NZ HERALD)—New Zealand will send 15 track and field athletes to April’s Commonwealth Games, a group spearheaded by world shot put champion Tom Walsh, two-time Olympic medallist Nick Willis and shot put legend Valerie Adams.

The squad was named today and also includes Rio bronze medal-winning pole vaulter Eliza McCartney, who will have up-and-coming vaulter Olivia McTaggart for company.

Seven of the athletes have won either Olympic, Commonwealth, world championship or world university medals.

Ten of the team are off to the Commonwealth Games for the first time.

New Zealand have won 127 athletic medals at the Games and there’s the prospect of a large haul to come out of the Gold Coast.

”Our team is an exciting mix of multi-medal winning Olympic and world championship athletes and new emerging talent selected for their first Games, covering a broad spread of event disciplines from shot put to marathon,” Athletics New Zealand chief executive Hamish Grey said.

Adams, who has won two Olympic gold medals, is chasing a fourth successive Commonwealth gold and her fifth medal overall.

Walsh finished second in Glasgow four years ago but is in strong form.

Middle distance runner Willis has medalled at all his previous Commonwealth Games and made the final of the world championship 1500m on a short preparation.

Discus thrower Marshall Hall and hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe, along with Adams, are named subject to meeting performance standards before the Games, which run from April 4-15.

Sprinter Joseph Millar, who competed at last year’s world championships, has been omitted.

Willis and Camille Buscomb have also been allowed to run the 5000m as well as their specialist events.

New Zealand team:

Women: Valerie Adams (conditional) shot put, Alana Barber 20km race walk, Camille Buscomb (10,m000m), Eliza McCartney (pole vault), Olivia McTaggart (pole vault), Angie Petty (800m), Julia Ratcliffe (conditional) hammer.

Men: Cameron French (400m hurdles), Marshall Hall (conditional) discus, Ben Langton Burnell (javelin), Brad Mathas (800m), Quentin Rew (20km race walk), Nick Southgate (pole vault), Tom Walsh (shot put), Nick Willis (1500m)…..PACNEWS

 

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