Thursday, April 19, 2012

NZ Olympic Triathlon Team named

As I head overseas, I made a short afternoon stop in Auckland to celebrate the naming of the Triathlon team which will represent NZ at this year's London Olympic Games. article
Kris Gemmell and Andrea Hewitt will headline the New Zealand Olympic triathlon team to London this year.
Gemmell booked his spot for London with a 7th place finish at the Sydney ITU World Champs Series on Saturday.
He will be joined in the men's race by two time Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty, who finished 12th in Sydney, and Ryan Sissons, who was selected despite crashing on his bike in the weekend and failing to finish the race.

World number two and big medal chance Hewitt was an automatic selection and will be joined in the women's race by Nicky Samuels, who finished 12th in Sydney, and New Zealand number two Kate McIlroy.
"We've got a real reputation in both men's and women's triathlon and they have made their mark internationally. Andrea is a real medal contender. I'm delighted to welcome them to our proud Olympic team," New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General and selector Kereyn Smith said.
Samuels and Sissons may have a slightly nervous wait however as New Zealand must finish inside the top 8 nations on the ITU Olympic rankings at the end of May for New Zealand to have 3 spots in either men's or women's races in London. In both cases New Zealand is comfortably inside the top 8 and has plans to contest key races in May to ensure they stay there.
"Andrea, Kate, Nicky, Kris, Bevan and Ryan are superb athletes and wonderful ambassadors for the sport and the country. They have come through a comprehensive selection process and are deserving of their places on the start line in London," Pedreschi said
"As selectors we were committed to ensuring a transparent, fair and rigorous process was agreed and implemented. That process was communicated to all athletes and coaches one year ago, with clear opportunities along the way to qualify for London, culminating in the Sydney race last weekend. We are confident this process has delivered six athletes who will represent New Zealand with pride and deliver outstanding results in London. That process has subsequently been ratified by the Tri NZ Board and the NZOC.
Debbie Tanner, who came 10th in Beijing and finished 20th in Sydney, seven places ahead of McIlroy, is probably the unluckiest athlete to miss out and Pedreschi passed on his commiseration's to her and the other athletes who missed selection.
"We would like to acknowledge those athletes who were not selected, and highlight that it was a very difficult decision. It is their calibre that demonstrates the depth and talent of triathletes in New Zealand."
However Triathlon New Zealand confirmed that Tanner and Clark Ellice have been named as reserves in the event of injury or illness in the lead up to London, both would need ratification from the NZOC should they be called upon to race.
Triathlon made its first appearance on the Olympic programme in 2000 at Sydney. Our first triathlon medals were won in Athens where Hamish Carter and Docherty came home for gold and silver medals. Beijing saw a team of six athletes and a bronze medal from Docherty.