Athletics: Van Dalen confirmed in NZ Olympic team

Lucy van Dalen has been officially confirmed for the New Zealand Olympic team after bettering the national qualifying standard for the 1500m two weeks ago in San Diego.

Van Dalen's time of 4.05.76 ranks her in the top 30 in the world and Athletics New Zealand believes she has the potential to make the top 16 in London.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary general Kereyn Smith said: "Lucy will be the first woman to represent New Zealand in the 1500m in more than 10 years and we look forward to seeing her in Olympic Stadium in London."

Van Dalen's rapid improvement over the past year has excited Athletics New Zealand's high performance director Scott Goodman. "We have been following Lucy's progress closely and are thrilled with her recent performances. It's exciting that she has made this jump up to the highest level so quickly," Goodman said.

Van Dalen's coach Andy Ronan represented Ireland in the marathon at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Van Dalen is the first athlete he has coached to an Olympics.

Other New Zealand women to represent New Zealand in the 1500m at the Olympic Games include Toni Hodgkinson at Sydney in 2000 and Diane Zorn-Rodger and Anne Garrett-Audain at Montreal in 1976.

- APNZ

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