Andrea Hewitt has confirmed Chris Pilone will take over her coaching role from the late Laurent Vidal in the lead up to the 2016 Olympic Games.

Pilone, along with support from John Hellemans, will work alongside the Tri NZ HP Lead Coach Jon Brown.

Hewitt spoke from Christchurch where she is already training strongly towards the new season.

"Chris knows what is required of an athlete to perform at their best and John Hellemans knows me well. I trust them completely. Laurent perfected my training, and we had built a plan leading up to Rio, we will build around the coaching philosophy Laurent put in place."

Pilone's preference is to stay away from the limelight and focus on the job of building a training and racing programme for Hewitt, something he has been working on since before Christmas, but did have this to say:

"The circumstances in which I find myself coaching Andrea are obviously tragic, and yet I am honoured and humbled to be working with Andrea and her team to carry on the work of Laurent. We are already very focused on continuing to provide the best training programme and build up for Andrea to enable her to deliver her best performance at the Olympic Games in August."

Triathlon New Zealand High Performance Director Graeme Maw welcomed Pilone to the team.

"Chris is vastly experienced in both triathlon and athletics, we look forward to having Chris work with Andrea towards Rio and help her achieve her goals at the Olympics. Tri NZ High Performance Lead Coach Jon Brown will continue to work closely with Chris, just as was the case with Laurent previously. The priority is and always has been Andrea as we continue to support her and the team around her towards Rio, as is the case with all of our HP athletes."

Hewitt is training with local and International triathletes who are currently based in Christchurch. She was silver medalist in the 2015 ITU World Triathlon Series, her fifth World Championship medal. The Cantabrian is already qualified and named to the New Zealand team for Rio - she was the first athlete from any sport to be officially named for the Games in October last year.