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Moment of truth for Currie's Olympic bid

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/04/2016

Braden Currie of New Zealand © Getty Images/Phil Walter Braden Currie of New Zealand Proven New Zealand distance athlete Braden Currie continues his bold bid for Olympic inclusion at a world series race on Queensland's Gold Coast this weekend.

Currie is included in a six-strong Kiwi contingent in which he is the only man.

Andrea Hewitt, who has already qualified for her third Olympics, heads the women's challenge along with Nicky Samuels, Simone Ackermann, Rebecca Spence and Rebecca Clarke.

It is realistically the last chance for former Coast to Coast winner Currie to prove his worth for Rio.

The Wanaka athlete made a late call to attempt to qualify for Rio over the unfamiliar Olympic-length distance and admits it was always a long shot.

"I have no regrets about this process, I know I have become a better athlete mentally and physically," he wrote in his blog.

"When you just feel so far out of your comfort zone and you really are on a fine balancing point of giving up and failing completely you find some strength from somewhere and you just keep going."

Currie was the first Kiwi home at the Oceania Championships in Gisborne but his Olympic hopes took a dent when he skipped the ITU World Cup race in New Plymouth because of illness.

This weekend marks the second race this year for former world No.5 Samuels after missing the entire 2015 campaign through injury.

Both men's and women's races have drawn strong fields, with Australian, British and some other nations using the event as an outright Olympic Games qualifier.

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