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Triathlete Samuels now in a race against time

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 05:00 31/05/2014
Nicky Samuels
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
ALL CLEAR: Kiwi triathlete Nicky Samuels has gained selection for the individual women's event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

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A relieved Nicky Samuels says the stress and anxiety of spending six weeks in limbo over her Commonwealth Games selection status has adversely affected her sleep, health, training and general preparation for Glasgow.

But she's "just glad it's over" and is desperately keen to make up for lost time.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee on Wednesday confirmed the Wanaka triathlete's selection for the individual women's event at Glasgow, after a six-week appeal process. Samuels was initially nominated and named in the team as a reserve for the mixed team relay only, but appealed the non-selection for the individual race to Triathlon New Zealand, which last week nominated her to the NZOC. According to the NZOC, Samuels had proven in her appeal to TNZ that she was capable of finishing in the top six at Glasgow. Samuels had two top-five finishes at world series events last year, among other results, and was "shocked" to have not been initially named.

"Based on last year's results I was certain that I had shown my ability to contend the front end of the race," she told Fairfax Media from London yesterday, as she prepares for this weekend's world series race in the English capital.

"I'm just glad it is all over, as it was a rather stressful time really. I don't have time to look back as I don't have many weeks left and have a lot of work to do."

Samuels said the process had taken its toll.

"Being in limbo for so long does start to impact on your mind though. I went through a number of scenarios in my head trying to figure out why the decision was made and just couldn't get anywhere.

"I think the combination of stress, lack of sleep and anxiously waiting have also contributed to me being sick twice during that period, which has affected my training."

But she was also thankful to the independent selection committee and the TNZ board for their time and effort during the past six weeks. Samuels will base herself at Font Romeu in southern France until three days before the Games. She plans to do some training with Coast to Coast champion Braden Currie and his family and will travel from there to the Chicago world series race at the end of June. She could possibly compete in the Hamburg world series race two weeks out from Glasgow too.

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