Samuels' selection rubber-stamped
Nicky Samuels' name was finally rubber-stamped yesterday for the women's individual race at the Commonwealth Games - six weeks after the triathlon team was initially named.
In the only selection appeal so far for the Glasgow Games, Triathlon New Zealand should be left slightly red-faced after overlooking Samuels, then - after the athlete's appeal - agreeing she had met the criteria.
Samuels was nominated and named six weeks ago as a reserve for the mixed team relay only, but appealed the non-selection for the individual race to TNZ who last week flip-flopped and nominated her to the NZOC.
Samuels had proved to TNZ and the New Zealand Olympic Committee that she was capable of finishing in the top-six at Glasgow, the NZOC said yesterday in rubber-stamping the selection.
On results alone the outcome is the right one; Samuels had two top-five finishes at world series events last year, which should have been enough to indicate to TNZ's selectors that she was capable of finishing in the top-six at Glasgow.
Samuels is in France preparing for this weekend's London world series race and could not be contacted yesterday but said last week: "I'm very happy to be nominated for the Glasgow team and have the chance to represent my country if selected . . . 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."
TNZ high performance director Graeme Maw yesterday had little to add to what he said when TNZ overturned its original decision.
"It is appropriate that any selection process has scope for appeal, and we thank Nicky and our review panel for working through the process," Maw said. "Having not met the automatic nomination criteria, we were asked to reconsider the available information including some specifically highlighted by Nicky, and are now satisfied Nicky has the potential for a top-six finish."
She joins Andrea Hewitt and Kate McIlroy in the women's individual race on July 24, the first day of competition at the Games. Tony Dodds, Ryan Sissons and Tom Davison will compete in the men's individual event.