Adams, Willis lead NZ athletics team for London

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 16:31 25/03/2012

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Beijing Olympics medallists Valerie Adams and Nick Willis head a small first wave of track and field athletes confirmed for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

But the group does not yet include teenage shot putter Jacko Gill, whose Olympic fate rests in a "pending group".

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has just held a press conference at the close of the national track and field championships in Auckland, where just four Kiwis were confirmed for London.

In addition to reigning Olympic shot put champion Adams and 1500m silver medallist Willis, marathon runner Kim Smith and javelin thrower Stuart Farquhar complete the initial batch of four.

Below them sits a five-strong pending group of athletes who are either yet to fully qualify, or have met standards, but are out of form.

In other words, there's room for the likes of Tom Walsh to gain full category A status - and the NZOC must wait to see if that happens, as under International Olympic Committee rules only one athlete per country may compete at B standard per event.

Also in the holding group are Quentin Rew, who was not nominated in time after reaching the 50km race standard overnight in Europe and decathlete Brent Newdick, whose status is the same as Gill's.

Middle Distance runner and dual Commonwealth silver medallist Nikki Hamblin, and 5000m runner Adrian Blincoe have both met full qualifying standards, but have not yet been confirmed by the NZOC on the grounds they need to prove form.

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