New Zealand Olympic Team confirmed

New Zealand Olympic Team confirmed

By ITU Admin on 03/04/08 at 12:00 am

The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) today confirmed the final selections for both the mens and womens Triathlon at the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

Andrea Hewitt and Shane Reed were today announced to join Sam Warriner, Debbie Tanner, Bevan Docherty and Kris Gemmell on the start line in Beijing.

In ratifying the nominations of Hewitt and Reed and confirming their selection for Beijing, the New Zealand Olympic Selectors commented on the rigorous process that Triathlon New Zealand (Tri NZ) undertook in the selection of their athletes for the Beijing Olympic Games.

The New Zealand Olympic selectors are satisfied that Triathlon New Zealand has undergone a robust, transparent and fair selection process in nominating the final two athletes to the New Zealand Olympic Team to Beijing, said Mike Stanley, New Zealand Olympic selector.

The athletes named today will complete as one of our strongest triathlon teams at an Olympic Games yet. Theyve demonstrated their ability to finish in the top 16 at Beijing 2008 and meet NZOC selection criteria. Were delighted to welcome them to the team.

Neither Hewitt nor Reed finished high enough at the 2007 Beijing World Cup or the 2008 ITU BG World Cup in Mooloolaba to automatically qualify for Beijing under Tri NZs selection criteria. The criteria were clearly signposted to all athletes well in advance.

So too was the discretion of the Tri NZ selectors to make the final decision with regards to nominations to the New Zealand Olympic Selectors should athletes not qualify according to those criteria set by Tri NZ, the International Triathlon Union and the NZOC.

This process has been critical to a sport that has a great history of success and boasts strong depth and strength in both mens and womens elite categories. Competition for places on the Tri NZ Beijing Olympic team was always going to be fierce as a result.

Tri NZ CEO Dave Beeche acknowledged the work of the Tri NZ selectors (Josie Sinclair, Rick Wells, Lyne Pattle) and the difficult task they faced.

This decision was a clearly a difficult one with each athlete merits considered by the selectors in making their decision and while it is a tough call for those who miss out, today is one of celebration for Andrea and Shane, both of whom will join Sam, Debbie, Bevan and Kris and represent their country and Tri NZ with pride and distinction in Beijing.

Our independent selection panel has managed a tough selection process in a robust and thorough manner in reaching their conclusion.

Our depth and quality of elite athletes brings headaches when it comes to team selection for events such as the Olympics and World Championships. Essentially someone is going to be unlucky to miss out, as has been the case here.

Hewitt and Reed will race this weekend in the ITU BG World Cup event at New Plymouth, a perfect way to celebrate their selection in front of a partisan home crowd and media, more especially for Reed who will step out of his own home on Sunday morning to race in front of family, friends and his home town supporters.

Nicky Samuels and Terenzo Bozzone have both been named as official reserves in the event of injury or illness ruling anyone unfit to compete in Beijing. Again it is testament to the strength of the sport and these two athletes that should either one be called upon to represent New Zealand, both the NZOC and Triathlon New Zealand are confident they would do so with the clear potential of finishing inside the top sixteen, an NZOC performance measure for New Zealand athletes competing at the games.

Stephen Farrell, Tri NZ High Performance Director and Olympic Team Leader, is pleased the team is finalized.

Now that the extremely tough decision on the selection of the third athlete for the New Zealand Olympic mens and womens teams has been made we can concentrate on the challenge of turning potential into medals at Beijing. 

The expectation may be high after gold and silver medals from Hamish and Bevan at Athens but the reality is that the six Olympic triathlon medals up for grabs in Beijing will be as elusive as any in the competition. 

We are one of the earliest countries to name their full triathlon team which gives our athletes more time for optimal Olympic Games preparation.  We believe we have genuine medal prospects amongst the mens and womens teams along with teams from approximately a dozen other countries.  The vagaries of triathlon mean that race results on a given day are somewhat unpredictable.  We know we have that we have to be 100% on our game to turn that potential into reality.

Andrea Hewitt
26 years of age (turned 26 on April 4)
Height: 1.60 metres
Racing Category: Elite
Best Performances:
U23 World Champion 2005 Gamagori, Japan
3rd Commonwealth Games 2006 - Melbourne, Australia
1st Kitzbuhel ITU World Cup 2007 Austria
BG International Rookie Triathlete of the year
2007 Achievements
1st Kitzbuhel ITU BG World Cup
2nd Madrid ITU BG World Cup
4th Wellington ITU Oceania Cup
6th Mooloolaba ITU BG World Cup
2007 Year-end ranking 15

Shane Reed
34 years of age
Nickname: Snuffie
Marital Status: Married to Tammy Reed with son Lucas
Height: 184cm
Education / Occupation: Studying towards a Bachelor in Graphic Design
Best Performances:
1st ITU Noosa 1999
1st ITU Hungry 2004
1st Oceania Championships 2008
2007 Achievements:
4th Ishigaki ITU BG World Cup
8th Mooloolaba ITU BG World Cup
9th Edmonton ITU BG World Cup
16th Des Moines ITU BG World Cup
2007 Year-end ranking 25

For other athletes who have been nominated to their Olympic teams, along with course and venue information and all Olympic triathlon news, visit the ITUs official Olympic website

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