23 Jul 2012


2:10 pm on 23 July 2012

New Zealand has sent a six-strong triathlon team to compete at the London Olympics, headed by medal hopefuls Andrea Hewitt and Bevan Docherty.

Triathlon is a recent addition to the Olympic schedule, debuting at the Sydney Games in 2000. The six events have been won by athletes from Canada and Switzerland in 2000; New Zealand and Austria at Athens in 2004; and Germany and and Australia at Beijing in 2008.

During the race athletes can incur time penalties for various infringements, including blocking another athlete, not completing the transition fully or cycling in the transition zone. Time penalties are served either in the transition area or in a penalty box during the run.

Hamish Carter was the first New Zealander to win an Olympic gold in triathlon at the Athens Games.


Andrea Hewitt is the current world No 1 ranked female in the World Triathlon Series and New Zealand's best medal chance in London. She finished second overall in the 2011 world series.

London will be her second Olympics, having placed eighth at the Beijing Games. She was a bronze medalist at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.

The 30-year-old was a competitive swimmer who switched to triathlon in 2005. Straight away, she won the bronze medal at the New Zealand Under-23 Championships and was admitted to the national team. Later that year, she went on to win the Under-23 World Championships in Gamagori.

In 2006, she took part in her first World Cup, placing third in Mooloolaba, Australia, and the following year won her first World Cup race in Kitzbuhel.

Bevan Docherty is a two-time Olympic medallist, winning silver in Athens behind and a bronze at Beijing.

At 35, Docherty has been New Zealand's top male triathlete for some time and has won numerous World Cup and World Championship Series events, as well as a silver at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. His current world ranking is 14.

Kris Gemmell, 35, was the first male New Zealand triathlete to qualify for the London Olympics after finishing seventh at the Sydney triathlon earlier this year and his current world ranking is 15.

In 2008 and in top form, Gemmell suffered heartbreak when he put his foot through a competitor's wheel in his final race two weeks before the Beijing Games. The resulting stitches and recovery ruined any chance of a medal, and he'll be hoping for a better outcome this year in London.


Bevan Docherty, Kris Gemmell, Andrea Hewitt, Kate McIlroy, Nicky Samuels, Ryan Sissons.

Some information sourced from www.olympic.org.nz

Where and when

The triathlon events will be held in Hyde Park. Women's: 4 August; Men's: 7 August.