Rob Waddell will lead a New Zealand Olympic team aiming to better the impressive London 2012 Games medal haul - the nation's most successful Olympics to date.

In total New Zealand finishing 15th in the overall medal standings, winning six gold, two silver and five bronze medals.

Waddell, himself no stranger to Olympic success after winning a rowing gold at the 2000 Sydney Games in the single sculls, told the Rotorua Daily Post winning 14 medals was a "realistic" target for the team.

"We're travelling to Rio on the back of our most successful Olympic Games ever and I'm determined that continues," he said.


"I've been to three Olympic Games and experienced them not just as a successful gold medal winner but also as a wide-eyed first-timer and again as an athlete struggling to meet expectations.

"So the medal target is based on us trying to be realistic.

"You never know what can happen in final situations but we have made sure to try and prepare all the athletes fully."

Waddell has been responsible for setting standards of excellence, overseeing the planning and preparation of the management teams and ensuring the athletes and their national sports organisations have what they need to achieve at the Olympics.

"We have superb systems in place to get the best out of our athletes.

" The difference between a gold and a silver can come down to the smallest factors.

"I've looked closely at preparing everybody so they are in the best possible position to perform."

Waddell highlighted rowing and cycling as having the biggest potential for New Zealand medal placings but said Rotorua-born Valerie Adams could be the most "momentous achievement" as she goes for gold for the third consecutive Olympics.


"Rowing and cycling were our most successful in London and once again we'll be challenging for those top medals," he said.

"And what a moment it could be for Valerie. She has dominated in her field for such a long period - performing time and time again."

The 2016 Rio Games marks the debut of rugby sevens and Waddell is eager to see captain and former Reporoa College student Scott Curry and his side in action.

"Rugby is at the heart of New Zealand life for so many people," he said.

"And I think it's very important that we see the sevens take to the official Olympic stage.

Waddell, who has already flown out to Rio to see the facilities, will officially fly out on Saturday and is eager to embrace the Olympic experience despite not competing.

"It was the first and only time we were allowed into the village to see our allotment, and I was really impressed. I think it's been done to a high standard, and it's a great location.

"I just can't wait to get back out. It's incredibly exciting and to be honest I'm keen to just get on with it.

"The Olympics are really special and it's the ultimate opportunity and a pinnacle event for every athlete.

"And the Olympic movement is unique because it appeals to such a broad reach across society.

"And I hope the New Zealand public really get behind and support their athletes."