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Heavyweight boxer David Nyika realises childhood dream with Olympic selection

Heavyweight David Nyika has been confirmed for the Tokyo Olympics, where he’ll be the first Kiwi boxer to compete since the 2004 Athens Games.

David Nyika (Blue) and Jason Whateley compete in the Men's 91kg Final on day 10 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Source: Getty

Nyika, 25, was officially named as part of the New Zealand Olympic team by Chef de Mission Rob Waddell in Hamilton today.

"This has been on my bucket list since I was five years old," Nyika said after hearing the news.

"To get this recognition and to be selected to the New Zealand Team is such an honour. Now I can't wait to get there and put on my best performance at the Olympics."

Nyika earned his Olympic spot thanks to a second-place finish at the Asia-Oceania qualifying event last year.

The two-time Commonwealth Games champion hopes to make the most of the opportunity with it likely being his last before transitioning to a professional career.

"I was a skinny kid so I originally wanted to be an Olympic marathon runner but that dream started to fade when I grew over six-foot," Nyika said.

"I switched my focus to boxing when I was 14, from there it quickly became a goal to be an Olympic boxer and I've been working towards that ever since."

Nyika is set to prepare for the Olympics overseas in the US before he finishes his build-up in the UK.

Nyika made his professional debut last month on the undercard of the Joseph Parker v Junior Fa event in Auckland, where he claimed a first-round knockout easily over Auckland’s Jesse Maio.

Nyika’s selection raises New Zealand’s number of confirmed athletes for the delayed Olympics to 30.