For the 2019 World Triathlon Series Mixed Relay Edmonton event on 21st July a New Zealand team of six athletes has been named.
The team is Nicole van der Kaay, Ainsley Thorpe, Sophie Corbidge,Tayler Reid, Hayden Wilde and Sam Ward.
The athletes competing and the order the athletes compete in will be made by Triathlon New Zealand Selection Advisors following consultation with the athletes closer to the event.
In the Mixed Relay World Series this season the team have finished third in Abu Dhabi and seventh in Nottingham with Hamburg taking place on the 7th July. Hamburg is also the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships.
General Manager of Performance for Triathlon New Zealand Hamish Carter says that there has been a steep learning curve in Mixed Relay racing for the team so far this season. “For every Mixed Relay event there is very different dynamic which means that we are taking alot of learning away from each opportunity.”
The Mixed Relay Olympic test event in Tokyo is on August 18th after the World Series concludes.
Carter says that so far this season the team has been the same six core athletes and that the upcoming travel is a challenge with the team currently based in a training camp in Banyoles where they have been for a few seasons previously. The team will head to Hamburg, back to Spain onto Edmonton before heading back to Spain and then finishing up at the Mixed Relay Olympic test event in Tokyo on August 18th after the World Series concludes. “Its hard travelling for the team but we have to race all the event to give ourselves the best chance of qualifying.”
Sophie Corbidge says she is looking forward to heading back to Edmonton “Edmonton is a stop on the WTS circuit I have visited several times, and I enjoy the race location. It is different to anywhere else I have competed, which makes it an interesting experience. As always, I am delighted to represent New Zealand alongside my fellow kiwi friends.”
Sam Ward is looking forward to heading back to Canada for the World Triathlon Series and Mixed Relay event. “Edmonton is one of the only courses with a good hill in it which can split up the bunch and be a good opportunity for a breakaway. I also like that it’s a fast run course.”
Hayden Wilde says he is “absolutely fizzing” to be selected for the team for Edmonton and that even being a reserve on this team is an achievement. “The calibre of male athletes New Zealand at the moment is extremely strong with most of the guys in the team posting the fastest times in Nottingham on their legs in the race. Edmonton is also very special to me as it was my Mixed Relay WTS debut and crossing the line in 3rd place for the team was the best feeling.”
Nicole van der Kaay says that she Edmonton has great memories for her. “The Mixed Relay event in Edmonton was very special for me last year so we are looking forward to do something similar this time around.”
Tayler Reid is excited to named in the team for Edmonton again this year. “Last year we had such a great performance as a team, so it’s a course that suits us and to be on the podium so that was amazing. This year we know that we are capable of being there so hopefully we can improve on last years position.”
Ainsley Thorpe says “I’m looking forward to being part of the team in Edmonton where New Zealand earned our first Mixed Relay medal last year.”