Val Adams looks best bet to carry flag in Glasgow

TOP CONTENDER: Val Adams is the favourite to lead the New Zealand team into the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.
TOP CONTENDER: Val Adams is the favourite to lead the New Zealand team into the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

New Zealand's flagbearer to lead the team into the opening ceremony will soon be revealed. Our reporting team in Glasgow look at the contenders.

Chef de mission Rob Waddell has made his first big call of the Commonwealth Games - he's privately decided on who will be New Zealand's flagbearer for Thursday morning's (NZ time) opening ceremony in Glasgow.

The flagbearer will be unveiled at a ceremony tomorrow morning (NZ time), and is "somebody who is an inspiration to the team and New Zealand, who reflects the team culture", Waddell said yesterday.

Given that, Fairfax Media's team in Glasgow decided to run the rule over who they see as the top contenders.


She's No 1 is the pedigree stakes, for sure. Double Olympic champion and double Commonwealth Games shot put champion, fresh off Olympic gold in London two years ago and another world championship title. Nobody ticks more boxes than her, especially as far as inspiring athletes.


One of Dunedin's finest exports, to the Lotto-Belisol team in Europe, Henderson is at his fourth and final Commonwealth Games and has a gold (2002 points race) and three bronzes on his resume. Carrying the flag would be a fitting reward for one of New Zealand sport's enduring performers and toilers at the highest level.


The curse of the flagbearer struck Willis two years ago when he led the New Zealand team at the London Olympics, four years after his Olympic silver medal in Beijing, then bombed. Not sure he'd want it, but the 2006 Commonwealth 1500 metre champion would be a more than worthy selection in what could be his last Games.


He's got plenty of mana within the sevens setup and for good reason. Forbes is a leader of men, a motivator and an inspirer. The 31-year-old is also a gold medallist from Delhi . The 2008 IRB Sevens Player of the Year has the respect of his sevens team-mates and the wider NZ Games team.


It would be a first for para-athletes but certainly a popular decision if Pascoe was to get the nod. She fits the bill perfectly - multiple Paralympic and world swimming champion, well liked and respected, a gold medal prospect. Perhaps the only thing against her is this is her first Commonwealth Games.


The Silver Ferns captain has long been regarded as the world's best netballer and will be chasing her third consecutive Games gold medal in Glasgow. The 29-year-old defender has been a cornerstone of the national team for a decade and the ONZM recipient certainly inspires and leads her team-mates.


Bit of a roughie but the Nelson-based bowler has done everything in the sport. She won gold as part of the women's pairs at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester and the 44-year-old has been racking up international titles over the past decade, several at world level.


Also an outside bet, the 53-year-old table tennis veteran and four-time Olympian is competing at her second Commonwealth Games. She won gold, silver and two bronze medals during the sport's introduction to the Games programme in 2002. She retired from international competition after those Games, but has made a sensational comeback.