Tom Davison holding out Comm Games hopes

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014
Tom Davison
Fairfax NZ
HIGH HOPES: Christchurch's Tom Davison continues to impress in 2014.

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Tom Davison has done all he can to snare a place in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games triathlon team. Now he faces a nervous wait as the selectors make their decision.

Not only did the Christchurch 24-year-old's monumental effort on the 40km bike leg of Sunday's ITU world series event in Auckland help to drag compatriot Ryan Sissons into an automatic spot for the Games, but he did it while under the weather.

Davison had been felled by a head cold the week of the event and missed three days of training, opting instead for rest.

Yet, with the chance to help Sissons and himself both get to Glasgow, he still out-rode every bloke in the field in what was the performance of the race.

Sissons heaped praise on Davison, who earlier this year finished third behind professional Hayden Roulston and Jack Bauer in January's national road cycling championships.

Sissons, 25, needed to finish in the top eight on Sunday to automatically qualify for the Glasgow Games. He was sixth and credited a big chunk of his success to Davison.

"My right hand man - I couldn't have done it without him," he said.

Davison told The Press he could have done more on Sunday had it not been for his illness.

"To do what I did, with how I've been feeling lately, I'm just over the moon," he said.

"I've had a head cold, a bit of flu or something."

Davison said the illness had left him nervous over how he was going to perform so when he was able to deliver Sissons to the front group on the bike leg, he was rapt.

"I'm pretty stoked how it all panned out, all things considered. There's absolutely more to give, too.

"[Sunday]'s result was great for the three of us, it was great for Ryan, great for me and great for Tri NZ."

Davison faded on the run to finish 36th, but said he would have had plenty more energy had it not been for the illness.

By proving what he can do and how he could help Sissons and New Zealand's other likely men's selection, Tony Dodds, Davison has done his chances of reaching his 2014 goal - competing in the Commonwealth Games - the world of good.

Triathlon New Zealand (TNZ) can nominate three male athletes. Sissons is in, Dodds will surely be nominated and now Davison has proven he'll be a valuable addition in a domestique-type role.

Other teams could use the same tactics - like the British did in the London Olympics - but in the weaker Commonwealth Games field, few, if any, would be able to keep up with Davison.

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He met with TNZ and Sissons last week about his role and their race plan for Auckland which he carried out to the letter.

So the TNZ selectors are obviously happy, but his selection still has to be rubber-stamped by the four-person panel and then the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The team is named on April 17.

- Fairfax Media

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