Australian triathlete and 2008 Olympic gold medalist* Emma Snowsill will appeal her omission from the London Olympic team. Source: The Daily Telegraph
REIGNING Olympic champion Emma Snowsill has confirmed that she will appeal her omission from the Australian team for the London Games.
In a statement on her website, Snowsill said from her German training base that she would fight for the opportunity to defend her Olympic title.
''Just a quick message to confirm that I will be appealing my non-nomination to the Australian Olympic Team,'' Snowsill's statement read.
''Please understand that I have not taken this decision lightly. I recognise that my decision affects people other than myself and I’m sorry for any hurt that my actions might cause, but I personally feel it is a matter of importance that I take all avenues available to me to achieve my dream of competing at a second Olympic Games.
''Whatever the outcome, I will attempt to take all endeavours to see that the process is resolved as quickly as possible to hopefully serve as small a disruption to the team’s preparation.''
The official announcement of the women's triathlon team, which was selected last Thursday and includes dual world champion Emma Moffatt, Sydney world series event winner Erin Densham and former world junior champion Emma Jackson, has been delayed in expectation of Snowsill's appeal.
Snowsill said on Twitter that it had been a "long few days" since she was informed on Friday that she had not been selected.
It is the third time in four Olympics that the women's triathlon team has been engulfed in controversy.
In 2000, the team was only finalised weeks before the event because of a series of appeals, and in 2004, Snowsill was left out as the reigning world champion, as was Olympic silver medallist Michellie Jones.
The only time that the team has been selected without drama was in 2008. That is also the only year in which an Australan woman (Snowsill) went on to win the Olympic gold medal. Jones won silver in 2000 and Loretta Harrop was the silver medallist in 2004.
Dual Hawaiian Ironman champion Chris McCormack, who also missed selection but will not appeal, noted on Twitter this morning: "Triathlon on the front page of every major Newspaper in Australia today. Seems like a common theme every 4yrs here. When will they learn!!!!"
The choice for the third place in the team came down to Snowsill and Jackson, who had almost identical results in the selection races last year, but both failed to impress in the recent selection events in Sydney and San Diego.
However Jackson beat Snowsill by one place in both the London and Hamburg rounds of the world series last year, which were earmarked as Olympic qualifying races. The youngster was Australia's top performer on the Olympic course (fourth) and took second in an Australian podium sweep in Hamburg.
However McCormack, in an interview with Triathlon and Multisport magazine last week, warned that the selection process had been so gruelling it had left the athletes "broken".
"I can tell you right now, they are broken athletes and they will have to survive this selection process and get their heads together in 68 days and be ready to perform well in London," he said.
McCormack called for a more objective selection process to be introduced for the next Olympics.
"When you take control out of the athletes hands they lose their way," he said.
"If there are three races (for selection) it gives every athlete the feeling that they have control of their destiny and they know the process and can plan for it. If they get it wrong then they can live with it.
"But this way there are people who feel they should be on the team and that it wasn't just and that can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. They need to keep it simple with three races that put control back into the athletes' hands".
McCormack accused Triathlon Australia of "moving the goalposts" by failing to select the team after the Sydney world series event in April and add first the San Diego and then the Madrid round of the world series to the
He warned that a discretionary selection policy "can destroy a lot of athletes mentally and physically".
"Sport is cruel, and you should keep it cruel.
"They should keep the Olympic selection easy and simple and stop trying to be administrators."
Snowsill endorsed McCormack's views, tweeting that he had given "a great honest interview about how brutal Olympic selection can be....some good points."
The men's team was named yesterday. As expected, it comprises Brad Kahlefedlt, who was nominated last year, fellow Beijing Olympian Courtney Atkinson and Victorian Brendan Sexton.
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