The New Zealand Olympic Committee announced today that open water swimmer Kane Radford would be representing the nation in Rio.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has today confirmed open-water swimmer Kane Radford to the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio.
Radford was nominated to the New Zealand Olympic Committee last night following the successful appeal of the athlete to the New Zealand Sports Tribunal.
Radford qualified for Rio at the Open Water Olympic Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal on June 12th. Despite satisfying the qualifying standards set forth by FINA Swimming New Zealand announced on June 17th that they would not be sending either Radford or Charlotte Webby, who also qualified in for the games in Setubal.
Swimming New Zealand felt that neither swimmer had a significant enough chance in finishing in the top 16 in the event, which is one of the primary considerations for selection.
Radford and his representatives launched an appeal almost immediately, which was supported by many athletes from New Zealand and abroad.
The Sports Tribunal that heard the appeal felt that Swimming New Zealand should have taken the following into greater consideration when making their original decision:
- Radford’s third place finish at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships as well as his strong placings at several World Cup events.
- That Radford’s placing in Setubal was compromised in the last 250 meters by Shai Toledano, who was subsequently disqualified for his tactics during the event.
- The viewpoint of Donna Bouzaid, the High Performance Development Coach, that Radford could definitely finish top 16 and had a chance to finish top eight.
Radford told SwimSwam that he is relieved that the process has come to a positive conclusion, “The emotions right now are hard to explain it hasn’t really set in as it has been a very long two weeks,” said Radford. “It feels like a massive weight has been lifted off my back, but now the real work begins.”
“I have managed to keep ticking over the miles in the pool. It has been more of a mental battle out of the pool than anything else.”
Paul Bruce, Radford’s Perth based coach has been impressed with Radford’s perseverance throughout the ordeal, “Kane has shown true resilience during this period,” Bruce told SwimSwam. “It was very tough and a bit of a roller coaster training wise, but we are excited to put the next seven weeks together for a great performance in Rio.”
With his nomination to the team Radford will be the country’s first open water swimmer to compete at the Olympic Games.
In a statement Swimming New Zealand Chief Executive Christian Renford stood by the selection process the country has in place, “The data in Marathon Swimming is more open to conjecture and while our selectors had one position, Kane had another which was ultimately supported by the Sports Tribunal,” said Renford.
“Our selection criteria and process is open and transparent, and allows our swimmers the opportunity to appeal. We fully support the rights of both Kane and Charlotte to appeal.”
“However we continue to fully support our selectors and respect the fact that they have always acted with upmost integrity and in the light of information that they have had available.”
Although Radford won his appeal Webby did not and will not be racing in Rio.