Flag bearer named for New Zealand team at World University Games

Flag bearer named for New Zealand team at World University Games

2 July, 2015

Hammer thrower Julia Ratcliffe has been named as flagbearer for the New Zealand Team competing at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.

Ratcliffe is a New Zealand record holder in women’s hammer, won the silver medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and also won the gold medal in her event at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Chef de Mission Christine Arthur says she is delighted to name Julia as flag bearer for the New Zealand Team competing in Gwangju.

``She is focused, genuine and humble about her achievements. As an athlete she is a leader and is clearly an outstanding role model for our team.’’

Arthur made the announcement at a function for the New Zealand Team today.

As flag bearer, Ratcliffe will lead the team at the opening ceremony for the Games, which gets underway tomorrow at 7pm (10pm NZT).
Ratcliffe, who is currently en route to Gwangju and will arrive at the athlete village tomorrow, says it’s a ``huge honour to be asked to carry the flag for New Zealand, especially at such a large event’’.

``The competition level at the World University Games is outstanding so it will be with pride that I bear the flag for my country here.’’

Sixty-six athletes from seven sports – athletics, swimming, diving, table tennis, rowing, fencing and artistic gymnastics -- are competing for New Zealand at the World University Games in Gwangju.

The World University Games is a major international sporting event that is held every two years for student athletes from around the world. This year more than 13,000 athletes from 141 countries are estimated to be competing in Gwangju.

Ratcliffe is a business studies student at Princeton University in the United States.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee is managing the New Zealand team and carrying out the logistics, as it did for the previous World University Games.

The competition in Gwangju runs from 3-14 July.

For more information, please contact Sue Eden, on behalf of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, on 00 82 10 2503 7705.