25 May 2016

Four strong triathlon team named for Rio

11:16 am on 25 May 2016

A four strong New Zealand triathlon team has been named to compete at the Rio Olympics in August.

Nicky Samuels, Tony Dodds and Ryan Sissons join the previously confirmed Andrea Hewitt.

Of the four only 28 year old Dodds from Wanaka will be competing at his first Olympics.

New Zealand triathlete Ryan Sissons.

Ryan Sissons. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"Being selected for Rio is a step towards my biggest goal, I have been training since I was 13 years old for this so it is a huge day in my career, but only a step towards an even bigger day in August.

"I always wanted to confirm my selection last year but injury prevailed over those plans. With my coach and support team, we then had to reassess our goals and think 'we need to be ready in August, let's plan for that one race'.

"I can't wait to represent my country, my family, my sport and all those who have helped me along the way to the very best of my ability."

Samuels finished 35th in London in 2012.

The 33-year-old enjoyed strong 2014 season, finishing the year in the top five on world rankings with consecutive podium finishes.

"The course is a good strength course too and I think New Zealand athletes have a good record on strength courses, I think both Andrea and I are suited to this race, any day with a solid bike ride as part of the triathlon is a good one for us," she said.

Sissons is already in Europe, preparing for the northern hemisphere season and his buildup to Rio.

"In some aspects the last six months have been very testing, I am especially happy to be there with Andrea, both of us would love to have had Laurent (Vidal) there but we are sure he will be looking down and supporting us, we will both be doing our best to make him proud.

"I am looking forward now to continuing the hard training and being in the best possible shape on the 18th August."

Triathlon New Zealand had earned three spots for the women in Rio but has only two selected two, Hewitt and Samuels, who met the tougher New Zealand selection criteria.

The overall New Zealand Team now stands at 84 athletes.