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Triathletes get pre-Oly speed tune-up

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/07/2016

Three of New Zealand's Rio-bound triathletes will get the chance for a final competitive speed test in Germany before they head to the Olympics.

Nicky Samuels, Ryan Sissons and Tony Dodds are in the respective women's and men's fields for the latest round of the world series on Sunday morning (NZT).

Racing in Hamburg will be over the sprint distance of a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run - half the standard or Olympic length.

Samuels is backing up from her best result of the season when she finished eighth in the last round in Stockholm a fortnight ago.

Olympic teammate and top New Zealand medal hope Andrea Hewitt came home runner-up in the same event, but is not competing in Hamburg.

Samuels, 33, says she has had another solid week of training under her belt and is looking to test her pace.

With the bike and run legs both generally flat, slick times are in prospect.

"This will be a fast race and I'm not sure my legs have that speed needed in them for a sprint yet," Samuels said.

"But it will be good to get off the mountain for the weekend to change things up a little."

As well as the individual men's and women's races, the mixed relay world championship is also part of the programme.

However, New Zealand, silver medallists in 2013, have decided against lining up this year.

With the Olympics in August being the focus, Triathlon NZ high performance director Graeme Maw said back-to-back racing was considered an unwarranted risk.

"We're a little sad that we won't take up our place on the start line in what is a great event and one in which we've had success in the past," Maw said.

"But we'll be back next year with a fully-committed team."

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