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London 2012: Liz Blatchford seeks legal advice over Olympics omission

11th June 2012

• Lucy Hall selected ahead of Blatchford for London 2012 lineup
• ‘In my opinion Hall is not worthy of an Olympic spot’

The British triathlete Liz Blatchford has revealed she is seeking legal advice after being omitted from the three-woman lineup for the Olympics.

Helen Jenkins booked her place along with Vicky Holland and Lucy Hall, who was picked by Team GB’s Olympic selectors ahead of Blatchford. The decision to choose the latter has drawn much ire from Blatchford and Jodie Stimpson, who announced she was “absolutely devastated” to miss out. And Blatchford admitted on her official website she is considering her options.

“This past week we requested a review of the selection process and at this point their selection has been upheld,” she said. “I am seeking further legal advice and will shortly make a decision as to whether I will pursue it further.”

Hall 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 may be able to help Jenkins split the pack, giving her a better chance of victory.

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. 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 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 [Alistair] 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.”

Blatchford’s reaction follows a similar one by taekwondo’s Aaron Cook, who is weighing up a legal challenge after being overlooked in favour of the much lower-ranked Lutalo Muhammad. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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