By Gary Anderson

Oceania champion Tayla Ford will be the sole female representative on the New Zealand wrestling team at Glasgow 2014 ©Getty Images Oceania champion Tayla Ford is the leading medal contender and only woman in the six-strong New Zealand wrestling team named for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The 21-year-old will compete in the 58 kilogram competition in Glasgow and will be expected to be a strong medal hope following her Oceania Championship win in American Samoa in March, which came after a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Championships in South Africa last December.

Ford has previously represented New Zealand in international judo competition and is a former Canterbury rugby sevens player.

"I came away with bronze in South Africa but I know I can up my game," said Ford, who is currently ranked number three in the Commonwealth.

"I have increased the number of wrestling trainings I do and I've started weightlifting.

"I feel good and I'm focused on coming home with a medal from Glasgow."

The five athletes in the men's squad also include Oceania champions in the form of Laos-born Soukananh Thongsingh, who will be competing in the 61kg class, and Stephen Hill in the 86kg category.

Sam Belkin (right) will be hoping to improve on his fourth place finish at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi ©Getty Images Sam Belkin (right) will be hoping to improve on his fourth place finish at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi ©Getty Images

Craig Miller, who is based in Canada, will take part in the 65kg category, while the line-up is completed by Marcus Carney at 125kg and Sam Belkin at 97kg.

Carney and Belkin placed fifth and fourth respectively at the Commonwealth Championships in December, while Belkin also just missed out on a medal at Delhi 2010 when he finished in fourth place.

On that occasion he was competing in the Greco-Roman discipline, but has made the transition to freestyle as Greco-Roman is not on the programme for this year's Games, which will see athletes compete for 14 gold medals at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

New Zealand last tasted wrestling success at a Commonwealth Games when Steve Reinsfield and Robert Algie secured silver medals and Stephen Bell a bronze at Edinburgh 1986.

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