Photos: World Triathlon

By Kent Gray/

Pivot once. Pivot again. And leave it all out there in one, last gasp attempt to become a two-time Olympian.

That’s Tayler Reid’s game plan, version 3.0 at least, for WTCS Cagliari in Sardinia on Saturday (1am Sunday NZT) now the goal posts have shifted again on his Paris dream.

After a tough start to 2024, the Gisborne 27-year-old pivoted in an attempt to add to his appearance at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

His refocus on cracking the top 30 of World Triathlon’s Olympic Qualification Ranking – in the hope New Zealand would gain a third slot in the individual men’s race in Paris on July 30 – meant Reid raced the Oceania Championships, World Cups Wollongong and Chengdu and WTCS Yokohama inside a month.

Unfortunately, a stress fracture that forced McCullough to DNF in Yokohama and subsequently withdraw from Cagliari means the 23-year-old Aucklander is likely to slip from his current ranking of 30th. So even if Reid, currently 36th, does leapfrog into the 30 with a strong result in Sardinia, it is unlikely all three Kiwis will finish inside the top 30 come the May 27 deadline.

That in turn means the second spot behind undisputed Kiwi No.1 Hayden Wilde for the XXXIII Olympiad will come down to the discretion of the independent Tri NZ selection panel.

What to do? Pivot again and give the selector’s more food for thought as they muse over the discretionary pick.

“Locked in for Cagliari so that’s the new goal,” Reid told

“This will be the end of a mammoth race block and Olympic selection, so looking to get deep in the hurt box and get a good result.

“It is an unfortunate situation with Dylan’s injury because I’m 100 percent confident we would have got three spots which would have been an awesome achievement itself.”

Reid’s form in the past month has been impressive. He was 2nd to Paris medal contender Matt Hauser at the Oceania Standard Distance Championships in Taupo, 4th with a penalty in Wollongong and 3rd with a near finishing chute puke in Chengdu. Those results saw him sneak into 28th place in the rankings before an understandably tired 24th place in Yohohama saw him slip to 36th in the rankings.

“Bit of an average day today,” Reid said after WTCS Yokohama.

“Not good but not bad either. Been demanding a lot for the body with four races in the last five weeks. Been trending well though, so was hoping to rack up another good performance. Unfortunately, today kind of felt like I was stuck in third gear on the run and at this level of racing that’s not going to cut it.

“Maybe paying for going so deep in Chengdu but hard to say. I know I got the most out of myself today so walk away happy in that regard, but disappointed not to take away any more points.”

Whatever happens in Cagliari, Reid will continue prepping like he’s going to be selected for the Olympics. It is likely the athlete that does miss out on the second individual slot will still travel to Paris to act as reserve for the men’s race and Mixed Relay.

“After Cagliari I’ll be heading to altitude to a big block of training. After racing so long, I’m kind of getting itchy to get back into proper training.”

Wilde will race in Cagliari in his WTCS season bow and likely last World Triathlon start pre Paris. Ainsley Thorpe and Nicole van der Kaay, meanwhile, will look to improve on their 22nd and 41st placings in Yokohama.

The women’s race is scheduled for 8:45pm Saturday NZT. It will be shown live on and Sky Sport Select – Channel 50. The men’s race is also on and on Sky Sport 9 – Channel 59 from 1am Sunday NZT.

NB: TV listings are subject to chance. Check listings.

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