It’s fair to say that British Triathlon’s decision to select domestiques has kicked up something of a storm in the tri community. However, one of the men who stands to gain from this selection policy, Alistair Brownlee, has come out in staunch defence of the inclusion of Stuart Hayes on the team.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Alistair Brownlee commended British Triathlon’s decision, saying that it was taken purely on the grounds of achieving Olympic success.
“You don’t necessarily pick the three best athletes – you pick the best team,” Brownlee said. “Myself, Jonny and Stuart will be Great Britain’s best chance of winning a medal. If you pick the three best athletes you might not have that chance.
“If you’re a football manager and your three best players are goalkeepers, you wouldn’t pick them just because of that, you’d pick the best team.”
The decision to include Stuart Hayes and Lucy Hall was the source of much controversy when it was announced ten days ago. It meant that the likes of Will Clarke and Tim Don (who were the favourites to take the third spot for the men) and Liz Blatchford missed out on their Olympic opportunity. However, Ali Brownlee believes the decision by British Triathlon could effectively signal the start of a new era for the sport in this country.
“I feel it’s a massive step forward for British triathlon that they are picking a team purely for performance.
“No-one has come out and said that the team selected is not the one most likely to win a medal.”