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Hamburg a Chance for Young and Old

10 July 2014

Hamburg a Chance for Young and Old

Hamburg plays host to the latest round in the ITU World Triathlon Series this weekend with a sprint distance race backed up by the ITU World Mixed Team Relay Championships.

With the Glasgow Commonwealth Games looming ever larger on the horizon, New Zealand will field a strong contingent of athletes in the individual races on theSaturday before a youthful and inexperienced team takes on the Mixed Team Relay on the Sunday.

The entire Glasgow team will race in Hamburg, with all but Tom Davison all taking part in the individual event with Nicky Samuels, Andrea Hewitt and Kate McIlroy in the women’s and Ryan Sissons and Tony Dodds in the men’s. The Mixed Team Relay a day later is in the hands of a young New Zealand team comprising of Sophie Corbidge, Simone Ackermann, Sam Ward and Davison.

Triathlon New Zealand national Coach Greg Fraine explains the rationale.

“Racing over a sprint distance in Hamburg two weeks out from Glasgow is ideal so the ITU World Series race on the Saturday (Hamburg time) is perfect as a warm up for Glasgow. They will train through this race and use it as a planned session in their build up to the Commonwealth Games.

“Racing again a day later however in the Mixed Team Relay does note benefit anyone in Glasgow though, so there was never any question of them backing up. That presents a wonderful opportunity for Sophie, Simone, Sam and Tom to experience the thrill of a Mixed Team Relay World Championships and to wear the silver fern as a team, something they are hugely excited about.”

Tom Davison goes from being the relative newbie in the Glasgow team to being considered one of the more experienced on the relay team.

“Relay racing is always at a really high intensity and I love the team aspect, it gives you that added boost knowing that others are relying on your effort and performance.

“I raced in the World Champs back in 2010 in Lausanne and also won gold at Youth Olympics in the team event and I know from experience that tactics will be huge in this race. It’s all about placement of your team, getting people in the right order to use strengths and limit weaknesses in the right place.

“There is such a strong team culture developing within the HP group. We are a really tight-knit group and feed off each other in both training and racing and this will definitely be a factor in our race this weekend.”

Simone Ackermann is making good progress this year after an injury plagued New Zealand summer, finishing in the top ten at the Chengdu World Cup and 22nd at the recent Chicago ITU World Series event.

“This will be my first time in this format of racing. Racing as part of a team is not something you get to do often in triathlon, which is I’m sure what makes the team event special and unique. Because of this, I not only want to do well for myself but for the others too. During the race, I think this will provide more motivation, pressure and excitement and make me go all out for myself and the team.”

Sophie Corbidge was in that Youth Olympic relay team with Davison back in 2009 and has raced the format a few times since and feels she has the background to race well over the short ‘super-sprint’ distance.

“I feel honoured and excited to be in the team. I come from an 800m running background which involved lots of speed training, some of my strengths are my power and speed - perfect for the mixed relay super sprint distance race.

“Team culture is probably one of our greatest strengths in the Tri NZ HP team. We are all training partners and good friends. I actually share a house with Sam in Cambridge so it is pretty awesome that we get to represent New Zealand together in a team. The training group itself is all about working as a team. We have a team of coaches, a team of support staff and a team of athletes. Training together as a team helps us to develop and perform as individuals.”

Sam Ward is, at 19, the youngest in the New Zealand team but feels at home with the other athletes in Hamburg.

“I have been doing some specific preparation for this event over that past few weeks, including brick sessions, short run speed and 100m races in the pool all to get my body ready for what is going to be a very brutal 20-25 minutes.

“The team culture the squad has built over the season since moving into our Cambridge base has been great. I believe that being able to train with the squad day in day out is a big advantage for New Zealand Triathlon and is something that I personally get a huge boost from.”

ITU World Triathlon Series Hamburg
Elite Women
Sprint Distance
Sunday 2:18am NZT

Elite Men
Sprint Distance
Sunday 4:18am NZT

Mixed Team Relay World Championships
300m swim, 6.6km bike, 1.6km run (per relay team member)
Monday 2:36am NZT

Osaka ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup
New Zealand will also be represented at the 2014 Osaka ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup on Monday 14th July NZT with a host of young New Zealand triathletes on the start line. CLICK HERE for information on that event this weekend.

Elite Men: Cooper Rand, Dan Hoy, Andrew Ranford, Tayler Reid,
Elite Women: Maddie Dillon, Deborah Lynch, Elise Salt,

For further information visit


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