1 Oct 2010


9:18 pm on 1 October 2010

The New Zealand athletics contingent features a number of familiar faces, while introducing several newcomers to the Commonwealth environment.

Beatrice Faumuina, Valerie Adams, Nick Willis, Adrian Blincoe and Stuart Farquhar all return to the international stage, bringing with them a wealth of experience and some of New Zealand's best chances at medals success.

Faumuina, 35, representing New Zealand in the discus throw, is attending her fifth Commonwealth Games. Her trophy bag includes two gold and one silver, won respectively at the Kuala Lumpur, Manchester and Victoria Games. She has also competed at four Olympic Games, with seventh place at Athens in 2004 her best result.

Faumuina is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and has won the New Zealand discus title 17 times.

Shot-putter Adams, who celebrates her 26th birthday at the Games, has put a tough year behind her to concentrate on Delhi 2010. Amid marital difficulties in which she stopped using her married name of Vili and a break with her long-time coach, Adams has struggled in international competition this season.

She is defending her Commonwealth title in Delhi; she won gold at Melbourne 2006 and claimed a silver medal at Manchester 2002. She also holds an Olympic gold, won at Beijing in 2008.

Middle distance runner Willis has had a disappointing season, with his form hampered by injury. The 27-year-old took a break for 10 weeks after undergoing a knee operation and has only been back training since winter. His return to form was signalled with a win in the 1500m at an international athletics meeting in Milan in September. Willis claimed gold at the men's 1500m in Melbourne 2006 and was a silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Blincoe, 31, is competing in the 1500m and 5000m in Delhi. This will be his second Commonwealth Games after finishing 10th at Melbourne 2006. He placed 27th in the 5000m event at the Beijing Olympics.

Farquhar, 28, has won the New Zealand javelin title for the past eight years and finished in 20th position at the Beijing Olympics. This will be his second Commonwealth Games, after finishing seventh at the Melbourne Games.

The athletics squad also features Elizabeth Lamb, Matthew Lack and Jessica Hamill.

The Commonwealth Games will be high jumper Lamb's first senior international competition. The 19-year-old has signalled her capabilities with gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008 and a personal best jump of 1.85m at the Porritt Classic in Hamilton in February.

Lack, 19, represents New Zealand in the T54 1500m, competing in a specially-designed wheelchair. He has attended four international World Wheelchair Games and holds the under-20 1500m Junior World Record.

Hamill is ranked first in the world for the F34 shot put and holds the Oceania and New Zealand records. The 20-year-old placed 11th overall in her field at the Beijing Olympics, and won silver at the 2006 World Championships. She competes using a throwing frame for support.

When and where

Most of the athletics events will be staged over seven days from 6-12 October at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The marathon will be held on 14 October and the 20km walk on 9 October.

NZ team

Men: Adrian Blincoe (1500m/5000m, Bryn Mawr, USA), Stuart Farquhar (javelin, Hamilton), Matthew Lack (T54 1500m, Opotiki), Brent Newdick (decathlon, Auckland), Nick Willis (1500m, Wellington).

Women: Beatrice Faumuina (discus throw , Auckland), Nikki Hamblin (800m/1500m, Cambridge), Jessica Hamill (F34 shot put, Invercargill), Elizabeth Lamb (high jump , Auckland), Andrea Miller (100m hurdles, Gold Coast), Valerie Adams (shot put, Auckland), Rebecca Wardell (heptathlon, Christchurch), Monique Williams (200m , Tokoroa).

Athletes' profiles sourced from www.olympic.org.nz and event information sourced from http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org