2014 bronze medallists headline seven-strong Kiwi wrestling team for Commonwealth Games




Tayla Ford and Sam Belkin will try to go two places higher on the medal dais after being included in a seven-strong Kiwi wrestling team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Tayla Ford of New Zealand wins bronze in the Womens 58kg bronze final. Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Wrestling, Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre, Glasgow, Scotland. Wednesday 30 July 2014. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / photosport.co.nz

Tayla Ford of New Zealand wins bronze in the Womens 58kg bronze final at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Source: Photosport

Cantabrian Ford and Waikato grappler Belkin both claimed bronze at the 2014 Games in Glasgow. Belkin was also fourth at New Delhi four years earlier.

Alongside are five Games debutants who have won multiple national and Oceania titles between them. Several performed with distinction at the Commonwealth championships in Johannesburg in December.

Three new men are Toby Fitzpatrick, Akash Khullar and Brahm Richards while women's hopefuls are Michelle Montague and Ana Moceyawa.

A 10-year age difference spans the team, from 20-year-old Youth Olympian Richards to 30-year-old police constable Fitzpatrick, who trains with national head coach Peter Pouri-Lane in Hamilton.

New Zealand Olympic Wrestling Union technical director Iain Adamson expects a number of competitive campaigns on the Gold Coast.

"This a great mix of experienced wrestlers and exciting young talent. We have high hopes for this team with many doing well at the Commonwealth Champs in South Africa and the Oceania Championships in Tahiti last year," he said.

"This will also be a great experience for the Games debutants and one which we expect to greatly contribute to their future in wrestling."

Watch FULL LIVE COVERAGE of the 21st Commonwealth Games free-to-air on TVNZ from April 4, 2018.

NZ Commonwealth Games wrestling team:

Men: Sam Belkin (97kg), Toby Fitzpatrick (86kg), Akash Khullar (74kg), Brahm Richards (65kg).

Women: Michelle Montague (68kg), Ana Moceyawa (57kg), Tayla Ford (62kg).

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