Three triathletes are set to make their Commonwealth Games debuts for New Zealand on the Gold Coast next year, but the decision could be subject to an appeal.

Rebecca Spence, 29, Nicole van der Kaay, 21, and Tayler Reid, 21, will be joined by veterans Andrea Hewitt, 35, and Ryan Sissons, 29, for April's event.

However, Tony Dodds, who finished 21st at the Rio Olympics, indicated his intention to appeal via his Facebook page.

"Devastated not to be in the Commonwealth games team that was presented today. I was not intending to publicly announce this, but as Tri NZ has presented the team, I want to acknowledge that I am appealing to their decision and am continuing my training for Gold Coast 2018!"


The selection criteria are complicated. Athletes' abilities to secure an individual or team relay medal are prioritised, but include the capacity to cater for domestiques to assist Hewitt and Sissons.

All the athletes will contest the individual events - "sprint" triathlons consisting of a 750m open water swim, 20km cycle and 5km run - and two men and women will contest the mixed team relay.

New Zealand is eligible for five spots because of their results in the qualification period, and the village capacity. The Herald understands that could change if other sports reduce their numbers, or individual triathletes pull out. Tri NZ should know whether they can increase their team by February.

Hewitt is the most experienced of the quintet. The 35-year-old won bronze at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games and finished fourth in Glasgow four years ago. This year she won in Abu Dhabi and, promisingly, on the Gold Coast. Both events were raced over the sprint distance.

She and coach Chris Pilone parted amicably after the Gold Coast race. She has been training in Christchurch since, and will race Commonwealth rivals Flora Duffy of Bermuda and Ashleigh Gentle of Australia next weekend in the Bahamas. They are the top two women's triathletes in the world this year.