25 Mar 2012

4 athletes named for Olympic Games

4:18 pm on 25 March 2012

Shotputter Valerie Adams, middle distance runner Nick Willis, marathon runner Kimberly Smith and javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar have been named as part of an initial athletics team to represent New Zealand at the London Olympic Games.

50km race walker Quentin Rew's A standard at a meeting in Slovenia overnight should result in him joining the group.

Athletics selectors also named an additional group of shot-putter Jacko Gill, decathlete Brent Newdick, and distance runners Adrian Blincoe and Nikki Hamblin who have met selection standards with either current form or competition for their single B-category spots in the Olympic team standing in the way of formal selection until the qualification period ends on July 8th.

Convenor of Athletics New Zealand selectors Graham O'Brien says it's tough on the athletes who had met selection standards but could not yet be named.

Both Gill and Newdick are fending off competition for their single B-category spots, while Hamblin and Blincoe, who have both met IAAF 'A' qualification standards, still need to prove current form.

Athletics is currently New Zealand's top medal-performing sport having won 20 Olympic medals (nine gold, two silver, nine bronze), including our first medal won at the London Olympic Games in 1908 (Harry Kerr, bronze, 3500m track walk).