Olympic Selection Up For Grabs For New Zealanders This Weekend

No New Zealand male has so far earned an automatic spot for London.

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This weekend’s ITU World Triathlon Sydney race has big implications for several countries, including New Zealand.

Bevan Docherty is approaching the year assuming he will race at the London Olympics, but this weekend’s ITU world champs series race in Sydney looms as an important part of that.

No New Zealand male has so far earned an automatic spot for London (Andrea Hewitt is assured of a place in the women’s field) and Saturday’s race in Sydney is the last opportunity to stake a claim for selection.

A top-eight finish will snare an automatic nomination to the New Zealand Olympic Committee, but New Zealand is likely to win three spots in London based on world rankings. It will then come down to the discretion of the selectors, who will make their nominations next week.

Docherty will be joined on the startline by other Kiwi hopefuls Ryan Sissons, Kris Gemmell, Clark Ellice, James Elvery, Tony Dodds and Martin van Barneveld, but Gemmell and Sissons loom as the most likely to join Docherty in London unless someone causes an upset.

Docherty is a two-time Olympic medalist and knows the pressure well, but admits he is already focused on London.

“I’m really looking forward to racing Sydney this weekend,” he said. “It has certainly been as testing build up with a couple of babies in the mix, but I’m happy to say I’m starting to hit some good form and looking forward to a great result.

“As I have said in the past, my focus is on London in August and that the timing for Sydney isn’t that great. However, every race from now until the Olympics is the perfect opportunity to gauge how the training is coming along and what I need to work on.”

Read more: Odt.co.nz

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