Olympic triathlon champion to appeal after being left out of Australia's team for London 2012
Tuesday, 05 June 2012
June 5 - Olympic triathlon champion Emma Snowsill (pictured) is to appeal against the controversial decision to leave her out of Australia's team for London 2012.
Snowsill missed out on the chance to defend her title when the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced that its team would be led by 2008 Beijing bronze medalist Emma Moffatt along with Emma Jackson and Erin Densham.
The 30-year-old from the Gold Coast said in a statement published on her website she regrets if her appeal will affect others, but added: ''I 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."
No date has been set for the appeal that will be heard by a three-member Olympic Appeals Tribunal, chaired by David Grace QC, one of Australia's leading criminal law advocates, with barriser Paul Hayes and Melissa Ashton-Garard, a director of Triathlon Australia.
Snowsill had also been left controversially out of Australia's Olympic team for Athens in 2004, despite being the world champion at the time.
She recovered from that setback to win further world titles in 2005 and 2006, as well as a silver medal in 2007, and a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2006 before confirming her place as the sport's outstanding performer by winning in Beijing in 2008.
But since then she has been plagued by injury and illness.
Densham (pitured above right with Moffatt left) won consecutive qualifying events - the Mooloolaba World Cup race and the opening World Championship Series race in Sydney - to work her way into contention and put Snowsill's place in jeopardy.
Densham then all but clinched a spot with a second-place finish last month in San Diego, where Snowsill finished 17th.
Snowsill struggled with a gastrointestinal virus after returning from her training base in South Africa just ahead of Mooloolaba event in March and had to withdraw.
She was 14th in Sydney, one spot ahead of Moffatt.
Selection was thrown into turmoil two months ago when Triathlon Australia rejected the selectors' plan to finalise nominations after the Sydney round of the World Championship series on April 15.
The triathletes then had to race again in San Diego and wait until last Friday (June 1) to be advised whether they had made the team.
Jackson, the 2010 world under-23 champion, beat Snowsill by one place in the London and Hamburg rounds of the World Series last year.
The 20-year-old from Brisbane was Australia's top performer on the Olympic course and took second in Hamburg.
The men's team for London has also been finalised, with Courtney Atkinson and Brendan Sexton joining Brad Kahlefeldt as expected.
Chris McCormack, the 1997 world champion, revealed last week he had been left out of the team, which made Atkinson and Sexton the obvious selections with early nominee Kahlefeldt.
While critical of the selection process, McCormack did not appeal.
April 2012: Densham and Justus claim first ITU World Triathlon Series wins in Sydney