Lucy Van Dalen added to NZ Olympic team

Last updated 16:38 04/07/2012
Lucy Van Dalen
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LONDON BOUND: Lucy Van Dalen at the Indoor Millrose Games in New York.

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Middle distance runner Lucy Van Dalen has been officially confirmed to the New Zealand Olympic Team after bettering the New Zealand qualifying standard for the 1500m two weeks ago in San Diego.

Van Dalen's time of 4min 5.76sec ranks her in the top-30 in the world and Athletics New Zealand believes she has the potential to make the top-16.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general Kereyn Smith said she was delighted to welcome Van Dalen to the team.

"Lucy will be the first woman to represent New Zealand in the 1500m in more than 10 years and we look forward to seeing her in Olympic Stadium in London."

Lucy's rapid improvement over the past 12 months has excited Athletics New Zealand's high performance director Scott Goodman.   

"We have been following Lucy's progress closely and are thrilled with her recent performances. It's exciting that she has made this jump up to the highest level so quickly" Goodman said.

Van Dalen's coach Andy Ronan, represented Ireland in the marathon at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Van Dalen is the first athlete he has coached to make the Olympics.

She will next race on Saturday in Manchester, UK, over 800 metres.

Previous New Zealand women to represent New Zealand in the 1500m at the Olympic Games include Sydney 2000 -Toni Hodgkinson and Montreal 1976 - Diane Zorn-Rodger and Anne Garrett-Audain.

Additional Olympic selection announcements for athletics are expected over the next week.

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- Fairfax Media

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