1 Oct 2010


8:56 pm on 1 October 2010

For the first time in New Zealand Commonwealth Games history, a woman has been selected to challenge in wrestling.

Women's freestyle wrestling makes its debut at Delhi and Sian Law will be there to ensure the country has a chance of medal success.

Law has long been considered New Zealand's top female wrestler. This year, the 29-year-old from Wellington proved her worth by finishing in second place at the Oceania Championships in 2010.

English-born Sam Belkin, 22, also breaks new ground for New Zealand, becoming its first competitor in the Greco-Roman discipline.

Law and Belkin are joined in the squad by 40-year-old heavyweight, Nick Lane, who will challenge in the 120kg class and the experienced Aaron Quinlan, who will compete in the 96kg class. Quinlan, 36, has recently returned to form after recovering from a neck injury.

Stephen Hill, 28, has been selected to represent New Zealand in the 84kg category, while teammate Andrei Paulet will challenge in the 66kg class.

Paulet, 22, originally from Romania, immigrated to New Zealand eight years ago and was classed as this country's top junior wrestler. He is now in his first year of senior competition.

In order to meet a higher level of competition, the squad has relocated overseas to prepare for Delhi 2010. Pre-Commonwealth challenges have included the Spanish Grand Prix, British Cup and the Wrestling World Championships in Moscow.

When and where

The wrestling competition features 14 weight categories for men (seven freestyle and seven Greco-Roman) and seven freestyle weight categories for women. The events will be held at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex from 5-10 October.

NZ team

Men: Nick Lane (under 120kg, Wellington), Aaron Quinlan (under 96kg, Hamilton), Stephen Hill (under 84kg, Kaiapoi), Andrei Paulet (under 66kg, Auckland), Sam Belkin (Greco-Roman, Christchurch).

Women: Sian Law (under 51kg, Wellington).

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