By Tom Degun 

gold coast_2018_24-10-11October 21 – The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) have confirmed that Oceania will be voting as a block for the Gold Coast bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Australian city are locked in a two-horse race with Sri Lanka's Hambantota for the competition and the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will gather in St Kitts and Nevis on November 11 at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly where they will vote on who will host the event.

Following a recent visit of the Oceania delegation to Hambantota, it was claimed that the region would not be voting as a block for the Gold Coast as previously suggested but, in a statement, the NZOC have confirmed that Oceania will be giving all of their 13 votes to the Australian candidate.

"New Zealand Olympic Committee President Mike Stanley and Secretary General Kereyn Smith will be at St Kitts and Nevis for the General Assembly," said the statement.

"The Oceania region has endorsed the Gold Coast bid."

Discussing the strengths of the Gold Coast bid, the statement said: "The Gold Coast and Australia are proven in hosting world-class events such as this and offer a great climate, friendly locals and an insatiable appetite for sport.

"With a wealth of attractions and a strong transport infrastructure in place, they would no doubt deliver an event of the highest order."

The news is a boost to the Gold Coast, who were always likely to get all 13 Oceania votes.

However, it is likely that Hambantota will get the majority, if not all, of the eight votes from the Asia region.

But the final outcome of the bid race will be decided elsewhere with Africa holding 19 votes, the Caribbean 15 votes, Europe 10 votes and the Americas six votes.

Jersey have already announced that they plan to cast their vote for the Gold Coast.

The announcement of the 2018 Commonwealth Games host city will be made by CGF President Mike Fennell of Jamaica at St Kitts Marriott Resort at 6pm Local Time following final presentations from the two bidding cities.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
October 2011: Threat to Sri Lanka Commonwealth membership not matter for CGF says Hooper
October 2011: Exclusive - 2018 Commonwealth Games vote will be difficult for our members says CGF vice-president
October 2011: Commonwealth Games should aspire to help countries develop says head of Hambantota 2018 bid
October 2011: Exclusive - Battle between Gold Coast and Hambantota for 2018 Commonwealth Games is most exciting ever says Hooper
October 2011: Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games bid earns Jersey's vote