Hansen, Wilde headline stacked NZ triathlon team for Comm Games

A stacked triathlon team featuring six of New Zealand's best has been named for Birmingham this year, led by Olympic medallist Hayden Wilde and Commonwealth Games medallist Andrea Hansen.

Hansen and Wilde are joined by by fellow Olympians Nicole van der Kaay, Ainsley Thorpe and Tayler Reid while 2018 Youth Olympic champion Dylan McCullough rounds out the Commonwealth Games squad.

“I am really looking forward to soaking up the whole Commonwealth Games experience," McCullough said.

"I have just turned 21 and the Commonwealth Games is something that most New Zealand school kids learn about at some stage during their schooling.

"I remember doing a project on the Commonwealth Games in primary school, so to get the opportunity to represent New Zealand now in Birmingham is a very special feeling."

The selected six will all compete individually in the men's and women's races - which consists of a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run - before a team of four is named to compete for the mixed team relay.

Hayden Wilde during 2022 Oceania Triathlon Cup.

The mixed relay consists of a super sprint distance of 300m swim, 8km bike and a 2km run and usually lasts less than 90 minutes, making for exciting viewing.

After not competing in Tokyo last year, Hansen returns to the competitive scene looking to add to her two bronze medals from 2006 [individual] and 2018 [mixed relay].

“I’ve been working towards this but it’s still a bit of a surprise to be named,” said Hansen.

“I didn’t know how I’d recover after having my daughter Flossie 15-months ago, so I’ve feeling very lucky to be back for my fourth Commonwealth Games.”

Andrea Hansen during 2022 Oceania Triathlon Cup.

Reid was alongside Hansen when they won bronze in the mixed relay in 2018 and hopes to continue that form later this year.

“The Gold Coast was an awesome experience and I want to improve on my achievements," Reid said.

"I believe we are bringing a super strong team and should be on the hunt for medals in the individual and Mixed Relay."

Olivia Thornbury and Trent Thorpe were also named as Triathlon New Zealand's reserve athletes.

With Wednesday's announcement, the total number of athletes currently selected to the New Zealand Team for Birmingham 2022 is 63.

NZ Triathletes named for Birmingham 2022

Nicole van der Kaay, Women’s Individual Triathlon & Mixed Team Relay (Tri Sport Taupo / Taupo)

Ainsley Thorpe, Women’s Individual Triathlon & Mixed Team Relay (Cambridge)

Andrea Hansen (nèe Hewitt), Women’s Individual Triathlon & Mixed Team Relay (Canterbury Triathlon Club / Christchurch)

Tayler Reid, Men’s Individual Triathlon & Mixed Team Relay (Eastland Triathlon & Multisport Club / Gisborne)

Hayden Wilde, Men’s Individual Triathlon & Mixed Team Relay (Eastern Bay Multisport & Triathlon Club / Whakatane)

Dylan McCullough, Men’s Individual Triathlon & Mixed Team Relay (Auckland)