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Triathlon NZ Names Strong Team For Youth Olympics


28th November 2008

For immediate release,

Triathlon NZ Names Strong Team For Youth Olympics

Tri NZ today confirmed 6 athletes selected to race in both the individual and the team triathlon at the Australian Youth Olympics in Sydney next January, albeit one is subject to a fitness test.

Four of the athletes confirmed their places in the team courtesy of their top two finishes at the Contact Tri Series selection race in Rotorua on Sunday. Jos Hoetjes (Chch), Tom Davison (Chch), Teresa Adam (Auck) and Rebecca Kingsford (Tirau) put their names in ink in Rotorua while Edward Rawles (Inglewood) and Sophie Corbidge (Auck) were chosen at the discretion of the selectors.

Corbidge is returning from injury and is selected subject to a fitness test on Monday. Should Corbidge not come through that test, she will be replaced in the team by Megan Blackett (Auck).

Tri NZ High Performance Manager for U23 and Juniors Stephen Sheldrake is excited about the opportunity and the quality of athletes chosen.

“The Australian Youth Olympic Festival is a wonderful opportunity for our young triathletes to experience high level international competition. Not only will they race against the best in the world for their age but they will experience the atmosphere and tension of a major event, something that will stand them in good stead for later in their careers.

“This is an exciting group of athletes who might best be described as being good ‘raw material’, all the more so given some have only recently come into the sport. They will play an important part in our high performance programmes and strategies over the next few years. Tri NZ will invest in them and work with them, what they must show is the commitment and desire to be successful.

“Sydney next January is less about medals and more about the experience, learning for future reference. The focus obviously is to race well and aim for medals, but they must take it all in and learn as well.”

Sheldrake has high hopes for the team race the day following the individual, with each athlete completing a short triathlon (200m swim, 8km bike, 2km run) before tagging their team mate.

18 year old Jos Hoetjes will lead the way for the men after his win in Rotorua. He has for some time been tagged as having great potential, he is looking forward to Sydney.

“I am excited about the whole opportunity, not just the chance to race a triathlon amongst world class athletes but to see and meet athletes from all different sports and experience an ‘Olympic’ atmosphere.

“My goals are twofold, to race well and gain valuable experience but also to medal if I can.”

Fellow Christchurch triathlete Tom Davison is similarly pleased and has almost identical goals.

“I am stoked to have made the team for the Youth Olympics; this was one of my goals at the start of the season. The international racing experience will stand me in good stead long term, I’m going with the aim of finishing top five but I know how tough it is going to be.”

Teresa Adam was the surprise package in the women’s qualifier, winning despite the former NZ Water Polo rep only turning her attention to the sport this year.

“I am really excited to be going to Sydney and still can’t believe that it is happening. I only decided to change over from water polo at the start of this year and everything seems to have happened very quickly. I am proud to have the opportunity to represent my county in another sport. I am very appreciative of all the help and support I have had from my family and friends.”

Inglewood’s Edward Rawles is one of the youngest in the team at 17 years.

“I am excited about the opportunity for sure and looking forward to what I’m sure will be an experience of a lifetime. I also feel very privileged and honoured to be representing my country at a youth Olympics and will be giving it my best shot.”

Rebecca Kingsford from Tirau is like the others, excited about the opportunity.

“I am pleased to be selected for the team and look forward to the international experience in Sydney. My aim is to improve on my World Championship result.”

17 year old Sophie Corbidge is confident she will pass her fitness test and compete in Sydney and build on her 12th place finish at the 2008 World Championships.

“I am excited about the opportunity in Sydney, not only to race but to experience the athlete village and other sports. For me at the moment it is about fulfilling my potential and racing at my best with a performance I can be proud of.”

Tri NZ Youth Olympics Team
Men
Jos Hoetjes Christchurch
Tom Davison Christchurch
Edward Rawles Christchurch
Cameron Todd Taupo Reserve
Women
Teresa Adam Auckland
Rebecca Kingsford Tirau
Sophie Corbidge Auckland
Megan Blackett Auckland Reserve

ends

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