The decision by British Triathlon to send three domestiques to the Olympics has surprised many in the sport. But what do the four athletes who were closest to the team – and who have subsequently missed out on the Olympics – make of it? Over the last couple of days they have been reflecting on the decision and what it means for them and triathlon.
Of the four, only Jodie Stimpson has indicated that she will continue to race ITU. Will Clarke and Liz Blatchford have both stated that they will now look to the States and the 5150 / 70.3 Series of races. Tim Don is yet to confirm his plans.
Here are some extracts on their thoughts around their omission and the British Triathlon selection procedures:
Tim Don: GUTTED is an understatement for myself and my family. I can understand the Federation want medals so desperately to keep all their funding and get on that BOA medal table … but to have HALF the team as helpers/domestiques when you have 4-5 athletes ranked in the top 20 in the world who aren’t selected is just gutting and mind boggling and, in my opinion, not what the Olympic Spirit is about. If I was an up-and-coming British Junior how would I motivate myself to give my best performance when if I am not top 3 in the World in the Federation’s opinion the only chance of going to Rio would be as a helper/domestique ?!?!?! I guess just swim and bike really and don’t run. Not a great way to inspire the juniors if you think about it.
READ THE FULL BLOG AT TIMDON.COM
Liz Blatchford: It’s hard to explain how this has happened as I am currently ranked 12th on the ITU World point list, 20th on the Olympic rankings and my results over the past 18 months of the selection period clearly show that I have been the second or at worst third ranked British female behind Helen Jenkins. 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 4 World Class males and 4 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.
READ THE FULL BLOG AT LIZBLATCHFORD.COM
Will Clarke: I’m pretty shocked and really sad to say that I wasn’t selected for the Olympics. It’s been a difficult few weeks coming to terms with that but I’ve always said that whatever the outcome, I’ll deal with it as quickly as possible and move onwards. Unfortunately for me, Team GB Triathlon is 100% based around the performance that the Brownlees and Helen Jenkins can deliver. They’re fantastic athletes and I’m sure they’ll put on a great show in London, but it just means that qualification for our Olympic Team was made incredibly hard and the selection criteria was the most brutal and unfair I’ve ever heard of. There isn’t another team like it in the world. I always chuckle at the saying; “It’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts.” It’s the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever heard and certainly doesn’t apply to Team GB! So as I said the past few weeks have been really tough for me. Not only am I really disappointed, but I’ve been totally exhausted mentally and physically from the whole process. Drained by three qualifying races in three continents in such a short period of time, plus all the stress that went with that.
READ THE FULL BLOG AT REALBUZZ.COM
Jodie Stimpson: So, my honest thoughts on the selected team. In my mind there were 3 women fighting for the last 2 slots; Vicky Holland, Liz Blatchford, and me. We all raced the WCS from 2010 & 2011, collecting the necessary points required in order to gain GB the 3 slots they now have. We all put our heart and soul into racing to gain those slots and were so proud to be taking 3 athletes to the Games, although we knew this wouldn’t mean that we would be chosen. I find it sad that GB have gone down the domestique route, in taking Lucy. I’m not going to lie, and will openly say that I am absolutely devastated, and words cannot explain just how much. I really believe that I would have done GB proud on 4th August, and given my all. Not having the opportunity to do so and race in London Hyde Park in front of a home crowd is soul destroying.
READ THE FULL BLOG AT JODIESTIMPSON.CO.UK