1 Oct 2010


9:18 pm on 1 October 2010

New Zealand will send a young and relatively untested 11-member gymnastics squad to Delhi.

At 27, parallel bars specialist Mark Holyoake is the team's oldest and most experienced member. He finished in 11th place overall at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, and claimed seventh place in the parallel bars and eighth in the team competition. He first made the New Zealand squad in 2002 and has competed at three World Championships. In 2009, he entered the Guinness Book of Records for completing 65 double leg circle revolutions in one minute.

Patrick Peng, 21, and Russian-born Misha Koudinov, aged 19, also represented New Zealand at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Peng placed 55th at the World Championships in 2009, and was the all round New Zealand champion in 2008 and 20009.

Koudinov reached the finals of the all around event in Melbourne 2006 and represented New Zealand at the World Championships in 2007 and 2009.

The men's squad is completed by Matt Palmer and Brandon Field. Palmer, aged 24, placed sixth on the rings and eighth on the floor at the Pacific Rim Championships in Melbourne earlier this year. Field, 18, achieved eighth position in the vault at the same competition.

The three members of the women's artistic squad are all relative newcomers to the world of international competition. Holly Moon, 16, placed second on the floor at the Singapore 2010 Open and is the current New Zealand Junior International AA Champion. She also attended the 2009 Australian Youth Olympics, South Africa Cup 2009 and Pacific Rim Melbourne 2010.

At 15, Jordan Rae is the squad's youngest member. Her best performances to date include placing second in the floor and third in the balance beam at the South Africa Cup in 2009.

Briana Mitchell has represented New Zealand since 2006. This year, the 17-year-old placed second on the balance bars and third in the all around individual and uneven bars at the Singapore Open.

The squad must make do without key gymnast 16-year-old Lani Hohepa, who has been forced to withdraw due to a back injury.

After the Delhi Games, the team will fly to the Netherlands to compete in the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

Rhythmic gymnastics

New Zealand is represented by a talented trio in the rhythmic gymnastics section. Kimberley Robson, 20, has competed for this country since she was 11. She placed 10th overall at the Pacific Rim Championships this year in Melbourne, qualifying for three finals.

Mereana Rademekers, 19, is the New Zealand National Rhythmic Gymnastics all around and apparatus champion. She has also represented New Zealand at World Cup events in Portugal and Montreal.

Keziah Oliver, 18, is a former Australian Youth Olympics gold medallist, who finished in first place in the teams event in 2007. She placed 12th overall at the Pacific Rim Championships 2010.

When and where

The gymnastics competition features 14 events - eight for men and six for women. All events will take place at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium from 4-14 October.

NZ team - men

Misha Koudinov (Auckland), Matt Palmer (Christchurch), Patrick Peng (Auckland), Mark Holyoake (Auckland), Brandon Field (Auckland).

NZ team - women

Artistic: Holly Moon (Christchurch), Jordan Rae (Counties-Manukau), Briana Mitchell (North Harbour).

Rhythmic: Keziah Oliver (Christchurch), Kimberley Robson (Christchurch), Mereana Rademekers (Christchurch).

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