New Zealand triathlete Nicky Samuels has been successful in her appeal to make the Commonwealth Games team in Glasgow this summer.
The Kiwi was surprisingly left out of the initial selection last month as Triathlon New Zealand decided to vacate the third available women’s spot.
The decision was criticised because despite Samuels not meeting the strict qualifying criteria, she registered two top-five World Series finishes last year at Auckland and Kitzbühel. So far this year, she came 16th at WTS Auckland and 24th at WTS Yokohama.
The 31-year-old will now join Andrea Hewitt, Kate McIlroy, Ryan Sissons, Tony Dodds and Tom Davison on the start line on July 24 and will remain as back-up for Hewitt and McIlroy in the four-triathlete Mixed Relay competition two days later.
“I’m very happy to be nominated for the Glasgow team and have the chance to represent my country if selected,” said Samuels. “I knew in my heart that my results were good enough to be in the team so although it took a bit longer to get to the bottom of this it is the right decision so I’m happy with the outcome. I move into the next training phase motivated and excited for the challenge that lays ahead and also the chance to race in Glasgow on a course that is suited to a strength based athlete such as myself.”
In other Glasgow 2014 news, former Ironman world champion Leanda Cave revealed earlier this week that she has been left out of the Welsh triathlon team, which will almost certainly include two of the fastest female triathletes currently racing Olympic distance – reigning ITU world champ Non Stanford and former world champ Helen Jenkins.
The triathlon events at Glasgow 2014 will be held over Olympic distance at Strathclyde Country Park, with the men’s and women’s finals taking place on Thursday 24 July and the mixed relay being held on Saturday 26 July.
Comment by 220 columnist Tim Heming: “It is pleasing to see Triathlon New Zealand have come to their senses. The principle of only taking those to the Games who are genuine medal contenders is commendable, but the benefit of any doubt should always fall on the side of the athlete. Samuels might not have hit the harsh criteria, but she has shown her credentials with loyal dedication to the Kiwi cause.
“Already making the trip as a reserve for the relay it makes sense she should be given a start in the main event. History has shown triathlon is notoriously unpredictable, especially as major championships, so why have only two high calibre contenders when you could take three?”
(Main image: Delly Carr)