New Zealand judoka set to meet the Queen

Last updated 05:58 24/07/2014
Tim Slyfield
Getty Images
REMEMBER TO CURTSY: Tim Slyfield, a bronze medalist at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, has been chosen as the New Zealand athlete to meet the Queen.

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When New Zealand judoka Tim Slyfield told 6-year-old daughter Kate he was going to meet Queen Elizabeth II, she was so excited because she assumed that meant she could meet her princess namesake too.

Sadly she won't. 

Slyfield, a 39-year-old who won a bronze medal the last time judo was at the Commonwealth Games at Manchester in 2002, wasn't sure how or why he was picked as New Zealand's representative to meet the head of the Commonwealth, but he was rapt.

"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "I think my name must have been pulled out of a hat, I'm not sure how else it would have been me."

Team-mate Sam Rosser offered Slyfield £100 to swap places.

"It was nowhere near enough," he said. "It's a once in a lifetime experience.

"But I've got no idea of the protocols or what I'm going to say to her."

While Slyfield will meet the Queen, rugby sevens' captain DJ Forbes and swimmer Sophie Pascoe will dine with her, among other athletes. 

A New Zealand Olympic Committee spokeswoman confirmed Slyfield was selected because of his experience and the fact that with him, Forbes and Pascoe, the entire New Zealand team was well-represented. 

So they have a man, a woman, a para-sport athlete, someone from a rock-star sport, a minority sport, an experienced Commonwealth Games athlete and a first-timer - all in three people.

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