Unlucky British gymnastics team launch Olympic appeal

GREAT Britain’s rhythmic gymnastics group have appealed against their exclusion from this year’s Olympic Games in London.

The team missed out on securing a berth after failing to reach the score set by British Gymnastics in the group all-round qualifying competition at the London Prepares test event.

That meant a nomination would not be submitted to the British Olympic Association for a host nation place. However, they exceeded the same target in competition the following day.

A statement from self-funded team of Jade Faulkner, Francesca Fox, Lynne Hutchison, Louisa Pouli, Rachel Smith and Georgina Cassar announced read.

“At the Test Event, the benchmark score we were required to achieve was set at 45.223 over two routines.

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“We scored 44.950 over two routines on Monday and Tuesday, and 47.200 over two routines on Wednesday.

“British Gymnastics has announced that a rhythmic gymnastics group will not be nominated for inclusion into Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games. We are appealing against this decision.

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“Thank you to everyone who came to support us at the test event, and to the many, many people who have sent messages of support and encouragement to us in the past few days.”

British Gymnastics confirmed that an appeal has been lodged by the GB rhythmic group in a short statement.

It said: “British Gymnastics can confirm that in accordance with the Olympic Selection Policy, we are in receipt of an appeal relating to the Rhythmic Group’s nomination for inclusion into Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“In accordance with the appeal procedure, British Gymnastics is not in a position to provide further comment until such time as the appeal has been finalised.”

Hutchison’s father, Brian, said: “They needed 82 per cent of last year’s winning World Championship score and ended with 81.5 per cent. We are talking about the tiniest of margins.

“They have all worked so hard. It’s frustrating to miss out like this.”

An online petition has also been launched to try and change the decision and has received more than 2,000 signatures.

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