Controversy hits Team GB after three-woman triathlon squad is named
YET more controversy has hit Team GB ahead of the Olympic Games after it was revealed that triathlete Liz Blatchford is seeking legal advice over her omission from the three-woman squad for London.
Helen Jenkins, a favourite for gold, has been joined by Vicky Holland and ‘domestique’ Lucy Hall, who it is thought has been selected for her ability to split the pack in the swimming leg of the event, giving Jenkins a better chance of winning.
However, Blatchford has hit out at the decision, along with compatriot Jodie Stimpson who announced she was “absolutely devastated” to miss out.
“This past week we requested a review of the selection process and at this point their selection has been upheld,” said Blatchford.
“I am seeking further legal advice and will shortly make a decision as to whether I will pursue it further.”
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Hall, 20, has never finished higher than 37th in a World Series race over the Olympic distance but is one of the fastest swimmers in the sport and that ability could aid Jenkins’ cause.
Blatchford added: “The third spot on the British team has been given to a young girl, a very good swimmer but at present not a world-class triathlete and in my opinion not worthy of an Olympic spot.
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“She is world ranked 103rd on the ITU points list, 148th on the Olympic rankings and did not compete in any World Triathlon Series (selection races) this year.
“British Triathlon has chosen to take domestiques (helpers) to the Olympic Games.
“My position on this is that I believe triathlon is an individual sport and that Great Britain has at least four world-class males and four females whom could all do very well in their own right.
“Our highest ranked athletes - the Brownlees and Helen Jenkins - have proven time in time out that they do not need any help to win, so I really feel that giving Olympic spots to domestiques is a complete and utter waste and truly unfair to those athletes like myself who have given everything to be the best triathletes they can be.”
Taekwondo player and world number Aaron Cook is also considering legal action after being overlooked by selectors with the much lower-ranked Lutalo Muhammed getting the nod.