Triathlon: Docherty gunning to secure Olympic spot

Bevan Docherty will head a New Zealand charge for Olympic spots leads the Kiwi charge to qualify for the London Olympic Games this weekend.

The world championship series event in London will see

Docherty, Ryan Sissons, Clark Ellice, James Elvery, Kris Gemmell and Tony Dodds competing in New Zealand's number one selection race.

The men's race starts just after midnight Sunday (NZT) with Docherty calm in the face of his biggest challenge this year, knowing he is finding form at the right time of the season.

"Over the last few weeks I've really come into some good form, so I'm very excited about the race in London.

"Obviously I'm after a top 10 finish to qualify for the Games however, I'm always in these races to win. Olympic gold is the only medal that eludes me so there's no point in lining up for just a top 10."

Docherty understands better than most the pressure an Olympic Games can bring, let alone the pursuit of qualification and doesn't underestimate the task ahead on Monday morning.

"My training has been going really well here in California, and finally my body has just accepted the punishment I give it, so I'm looking to translate that into a good result.

"With so many countries having Olympic spots up for grabs in London this is definitely going to be the most competitive race of the year, with a lot of tactics and dynamics involved."

New Plymouth's Ellice is focused on the biggest race of his life on the weekend and has been working especially hard this year on his swim, where he believes the big gains he has made can pay dividends in London.

"With London being a one-lap swim this is crucial and so a lot of my energy has solely been swim-run focused this year.

"I aim to make the lead pack and basically set myself up from there."

Elvery has bounced back quickly form a broken hand to race this weekend.

"I raced well in Geneva a week ago for second. I didn't feel awesome, but with two more weeks up here at altitude in Font Romeu and some close supervision from coach Pete Pfitzinger, I hope to find another gear on Sunday.

"It will be tough to qualify but I'm just going to go out there, enjoy myself and give it everything."

Dodds is another backing up from injury, having just recently had 12 stitches removed from his arm and elbow after colliding with a car while training in Germany last month.

The formula to earn selection to the Olympics next year is to finish as one of the top two Kiwis and inside the top 10 overall in London or be in the top three New Zealanders and in the top five overall this weekend.

- NZPA

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