“The only time New Zealand has won more gold medals was at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, when we won 17. So Glasgow has been a very good Games for many New Zealand athletes.
“This result saw New Zealand ranked 6th in the Commonwealth.”
Baumann believes New Zealand’s Commonwealth Games results have tracked upwards since Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010 because of a ‘strong systems approach’.
“New Zealand has good integration of its high performance sport system between HPSNZ, Sport New Zealand, the New Zealand Olympic Committee and all our partners in national sport organisations, so that together we create the best performance environment for our athletes and their coaches. We don’t have the big budgets of some of our toughest competitors but I believe an integrated approach gives us a competitive advantage over other nations. The development of new training facilities, like the Avantidrome in Cambridge, are also a massive boost for us.”
Baumann says one of the highlights of the Glasgow Games for him was seeing great results come in from some of the sports HPSNZ invests in, including Bike with its amazing haul of 15 medals, including six gold.
“Bike performed, and across multiple disciplines in track, mountain biking, and on the road. Bike is a tier one targeted sport for us and to capitalise on results at world championships with more podium finishes demonstrates why we continue to support their high performance programme.
“There were many other strong performances from athletes in sports that we invest in. They’ll be celebrating, and deservedly so.”
Baumann says several other sports can also be proud of how they performed, including Judo which won five medals in Glasgow.
“Importantly, New Zealand has won medals in 14 different sports at these Games, including its first in gymnastics in 16 years. As a small nation, this is significant as it shows our diversity and ability across a number of sports. The Commonwealth Games is the pinnacle event for some sports and they’ve proven themselves here.”
The Games also provides the opportunity for athletes to test how they are tracking towards the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, and beyond to Tokyo 2020 for some of our younger athletes. In addition to our medallists, we had more than 70 others placing in 4-8th positions in the Commonwealth in a range of sports. They’ll be able to use their experience here as they continue to develop in their sport. Athletes like Anton Cooper, Tom Walsh and Sam Webster are good examples of young talent who have come through the system, done well in Glasgow and have fantastic potential.
“At these Games, we also trialled a new performance and recovery centre for athletes, which replicates the recovery environment they use at home, and this has proven to be very successful. We’ll be using the same model in Rio.”
Baumann says the atmosphere at the Games has been incredible and with a strong New Zealand team culture.
He also says that while some sports may have been disappointed by their results, they’ll be able to learn from that.
“High performance sport is a long-term game, and sometimes not everything goes your way on the day. After every major campaign, together with the national sport organisations, we review performances to look at what went well and where there were gaps. At the end of that review process, we’ll be looking at our investment levels to check that we have the right balance. As part of that we will consider applications from sports for investment to support specific campaigns as there is flexibility in our system for that. Those decisions around the level of support for our targeted sports and campaign investment will be announced at the end of the year.”
Baumann says it has been fantastic to see the huge support the New Zealand team has had from fans and supporters in Glasgow and back home in New Zealand.