In an announcement at the Home of Cycling in Cambridge today, New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith named the teams to represent New Zealand in track cycling and triathlon at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The World Champion team sprint trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins will lead a powerful track cycling team of 14 athletes while triathlon has named a five-strong team to contest the individual and team events, as well as a team relay reserve. The track cycling team will head to Glasgow with high expectations, looking to match or better their nine-medal haul from Delhi 2010 and the triathletes are aiming for both an individual and mixed team relay medal. This year will be the first time the triathlon relay has featured on the Commonwealth Games programme.
Smith congratulated the athletes named today. “Both bike and triathlon are high profile New Zealand sports and we know they’ll have the support of the nation behind them. We’re delighted to be here at the Avantidrome to welcome the athletes to the team.”
She added that Glasgow would be an important milestone for the athletes. “Both teams will be targeting Glasgow 2014 for medals, but also for the vital experience our elite Olympic sports gain. The Commonwealth Games provide an opportunity for critical performance benchmarking as well as gaining experience in the multi-sport environment in the build-up to Rio.”
Bike NZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott said the team has a nucleus of proven performers over the last two years. “In the main, the team is based on the men’s sprint and endurance programmes that met with such success in both London and this year’s world championships,” he said.
The competition at Glasgow is going to be extremely strong with Great Britain, the strongest nation by far at the last Olympics, splitting down into their component countries, as well as powerhouses like Australia and Canada in particular.
Triathlon New Zealand High Performance Director Graeme Maw also highlighted the strength of the competition within the Commonwealth.
“We have no illusions of the challenge we face in Glasgow. Just over a week ago, four of the six podium spots in the Auckland World Series were claimed by Commonwealth athletes,” he said. “However, we are pleased to have been able to select at tight team constructed to target medals.” Athletes have been confirmed for the Commonwealth Games team in athletics, swimming, diving and today, triathlon and track cycling. It is expected that New Zealand athletes will compete in all 17 sports on the Glasgow 2014 programme with a full team of around 200 athletes.
Further selections are expected for cycling in early May.
The athletes named today are:
Shane Archbold – Men’s Endurance
Patrick Bevin – Men’s Endurance
Pieter Bulling – Men’s Endurance
Aaron Gate – Men’s Endurance
Dylan Kennett – Men’s Endurance
Marc Ryan – Men’s Endurance
Tom Scully– Men’s Endurance
Matt Archibald – Men’s Sprint
Eddie Dawkins – Men’s Sprint
Ethan Mitchell – Men’s Sprint
Simon van Velthooven – Men’s Sprint
Sam Webster – Men’s Sprint
Lauren Ellis – Women’s Endurance
Jaime Nielsen – Women’s Endurance
Andrea Hewitt – Individual and Mixed Relay
Ryan Sissons – Individual and Mixed Relay
Kate McIlroy – Individual and Mixed Relay
Tony Dodds – Individual and Mixed Relay
Tom Davison – Individual and Mixed Relay
Nicky Samuels – Reserve, Mixed Relay