By Kent Gray/
Few athletes prepping to wear the silver fern with pride in Paris will arrive at the Olympics with as much pent-up determination as Ainsley Thorpe.

The 26-year-old Aucklander is thrilled her shot at Olympic Games redemption is now officially locked in after being named alongside Nicole van der Kaay, Hayden Wilde and Dylan McCullough in the NZL triathlon team for the XXXIII Olympiad.

Thorpe crashed out of her Games debut in Tokyo three years ago. Combined with the pandemic restrictions and a ho-hum 12th place for NZ in the mixed relay and Thorpe’s first Olympic experience was more bitter than sweet.

She can’t wait to put things right in Paris.

“I’m honoured to be selected to represent New Zealand at my second Olympics and with no restrictions this time, I can have the lead up needed to perform at my best,” Thorpe told

“I had my experience in Tokyo haunt me for a long time but after racing at the Paris test event last year and finishing 17th, I realised how much stronger I have become as an athlete both physically and mentally in those two years.

“I loved the course and the city and I can’t wait to race in Paris again.”

Before the July 31 women’s individual under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Thorpe will shake out any racing cobwebs at World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Hamburg on July 13-14.

There she’ll look to improve on her most recent results – 22nd and 32nd at WTCS races in Yokohama and Cagliari respectively. The mixed relay in Hamburg is also a chance to get some much-needed tag team practice in given the disruptions to World Triathlon’s mixed relay programme over the past year.

New Zealand claimed silver in the relay at last year’s WTCS Hamburg but won’t have Wilde in Germany this time with the Kiwi No.1 opting instead to continuing training at altitude in Andorra.

“There haven’t been many opportunities to trial different tactics with positions and athletes especially this year, so one last hit out in Hamburg will be a good opportunity to do that,” Thorpe said.

“The mixed relay in Paris is going to be an exciting race. We have shown we are medal capable many times before, so yes, we have a good chance to medal I think.”

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