Our five in Glasgow

22:12, Jul 16 2014
Mulled venison roast

Five athletes with strong Marlborough connections will compete at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which begin on Thursday, July 24 (NZ time).

Sports editor Peter Jones contacted them before they left for Europe and asked them the same five questions.

■ What is your primary objective in Glasgow?

■ How are the nerves at this stage?

■ Have you been aware of the support from Marlborough?

■ Is there a favourite saying or mantra you are taking to the Games with you?


■ Are you as prepared as you would like?

These, in their own words, are their responses.

Megan Craig (New Zealand squash team)

"Well, I'm obviously going for gold, you've gotta aim high, but to place would be nice. In the doubles anything can kind of happen and often world rankings don't mean a thing, so we'll just go out and do our best."

"No nerves just yet - just full of excitement. Maybe they'll kick in when we get there."

"The support has been amazing from the communtity. I have been asked to talk at a couple of schools and I spoke at a fundraiser for MGC last week. It's pretty cool how the community as got involved and doing things revolved around the Commonwealth Games. Also the public in general are extremely supportive, even just walking around the supermarket I'll get a couple of "go hard over there girl, we're all backing ya" or something like that - and I haven't even met them before!"

"I'm feeling pretty well prepped after competing in Melbourne at the weekend. We had a week in Malaysia a couple of weeks back playing doubles with the Indian and Malaysian teams (Nicol David was one of them), that was great preparation for us building up to the Games to get exposure to some of the other top-ranked doubles teams.

"Overall I couldn't be more excited. Our kit arrived last week and that really made things start to feel real. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and helped me get here."

Dorothy Boyce (Papua New Guinea squash team)

"My primary objective is to do my best and have fun.

"I am 50/50 with my nerves at this stage."

"I have had support from friends and families and Springlands School year three kids, thanks for all the lovely messages."

"My favourite saying is, run fast like a cheetah, hit the ball like a cannon and have lots of rest (year three kids)."

"I have been training so hard, I feel I am prepared."

Anna Tempero (New Zealand gymnastics team)

"My primary objective at this stage is just to compete well and do everything I can to help the team. At this stage it's a bit hard to have too many goals because we're still unsure what apparatus we'll be competing on the day.

"So far the nerves are steady, I'm just focusing on getting everything ready for the Games. There hasn't been much time for me to get nervous yet, but I'm sure it will come!"

"Everyone from Blenheim have been really supportive. It was great coming back and competing in Blenheim and having so many spectators in the stands, it made a great atmosphere. Also the Blenheim Gym Club and Marlborough District Council made a presentation for us at the competition to acknowledge all our hard work and achievements which was really nice of them."

"My dad always told me ‘talk yourself into it, not out it'. That has always been a major saying in my mind as I compete and even in training."

"So far training is going pretty well. I just have to keep it up and give it my all in competition. Thankfully we left for Glasgow quite early, meaning we have time to adjust to the equipment and time difference, which will be a huge help leading into the competition."

Matt Palmer (New Zealand gymnastics team)

"My primary objective is to make the rings final and from there compete for a medal."

"The nerves are fine at this stage. The excitement has not set in yet, it has been a long process in trying to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and it still feels surreal. I don't think it will until I reach the athletes' village.

"Going to the Marlborough gymnastics championships was great. There were a lot of people coming up and congratulating me on getting to the Games and telling me they'll be watching every moment."

"I'll just be reminding myself to count to three before I compete on the rings. The judges deduct heavily on this for rings and one missed held element in qualification will be the difference between making the rings final or not - as I found out in Delhi four years ago."

"Am I as prepared as I would like? Yes and no. I've had a lot of injuries this year which have hampered my preparation especially on the floor, vault and my rings dismount. I've had to practice my rings dismount onto soft mats as I hyperextended my left knee badly a couple of months ago. Apart from that I am happy with how the rest of my rings is at this stage."

Bailey Rogers (New Zealand weightlifting team)

"My primary objective is to have the experience of a lifetime, and improve the total on all of my lifts.

"I'm not nervous at all at the moment, it still hasn't really sunk in that I'm actually going. Training is still the same as it has been, nothing in day-to-day life has changed. I guess it will sink in when I step on the plane. I did see a picture of the weightlifting arena the other day which set my heart into a wee bit of a flutter - it's HUGE! So many eyes all on that one platform. Of course, on the international stage you want the nerves and adrenaline to get you to a place you haven't been before, and hopefully lift some weight beyond my own expectation."

"The support I've received from the people in Marlborough is incredible. Truly unbelievable. People I haven't spoken to in years, congratulating me ... friends of my parents and family. It's an amazing feeling to know that so many people are thinking of you and are behind you. It's that type of feeling that pushes you through the tough training days. Knowing that I don't want to let anyone down.

"I got this saying from one of my clients at work, she always seemed to just go and go and go, and I asked her what she thought about when she was working out. She said, "find a way". So I often just think to myself, "find a way to get this done", "find a way to lift this weight". I think it's great, straight to the point."

"It feels as though it's been a long road to get here, and now all of a sudden it's next week. But yes, I am as prepared as I feel I can be. Weightlifting is a hugely mental game, so I just need to keep my focus and stay on top of my emotional game and I should be fine.

"I'm the strongest I've ever been, so I can't ask for much more."

The Marlborough Express