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Games on for Kiwis

- 3rd Jul 2002

The first athletes from New Zealand have arrived in Stockport in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

The team has chosen Woodbank Park as their training base for the Games with the bulk of the athletes arriving on Monday, July 15.

The New Zealand contingent in Stockport will increase further at the end of the month when the powerful All Blacks arrive to train at Grove Park in Cheadle Hulme for the rugby sevens.

The Northern Ireland team is also due to arrive next week to use the Woodbank Park facilities.

Among the first of the Kiwi athletes to arrive was defending ladies' discus champion and current Commonwealth number one Beatrice Faumuina who is relishing the opportunity of competing in her third Games.

"My preparations are going really well and I can't wait to defend my title," she said.

"We are staying in Stockport for a few days before heading into the athletes' village and I am already very excited about throwing in the new stadium.

"I would really like is a medal similar in colour to the one I got at the last Games and naturally as defending champion I will be disappointed not to get gold once again."

Accompanying Faumuina was 10,000m runner John Henwood, who aims to push Cheadle Hulme-based Jon Wild all the way when the two meet on the track on Friday, July 26, and hammer thrower Tasha Williams.

Craig Barrat, a gold medal prospect in the 50km walk, joins his colleagues next week.

Stockport Harriers will hold a civic reception at Stockport Town Hall on Tuesday, July 16, and a club presentation at the running track at Woodbank Park two days later.