LaCaze decision a backflip of Olympic A Standards
If Gymnastics Australia is looking for some extra athletes for the 2012 Olympics, they could do no better than recruit the backflipping management of Athletics Australia (AA).
The last 72 Hours have been shambolic for an organisation that was hoping to celebrate a proud week.
Athletics Australia should be celebrating sending their biggest team since Sydney to the London Olympics as it is a strong squad capable of a few medals.
Instead, AA has joined Rowing Australia and Weightlifting Australia in having terrible dilemmas to deal with before London.
It all started when Genevieve LaCaze in an Athletics meet overseas, clocked the required A-Time in the 3000m steeplechase to technically qualify for the Olympics.
Trouble was, the time was clocked a day after the deadline Athletics Australia set for picking the team.
This deadline has been criticised by Tamsyn Manou (nee: Lewis) as it was nearly a month before the IOC requirements for teams to be nominated which is on July 7th (In contrast the US Qualifiers will be held from the 29th June until July 1st)
Eric Hollingsworth the high performance all week defended his position adamant that the date given by Athletics Australia would stand; he was backed by AA and inadvertently the AOC.
It seemed that LaCaze would be denied until Saturday Night when AA back flipped and extended the deadline until June 22nd.
So what is to be made of this situation?
For starters because of the emotion surrounding the debate a few things have to be dispelled.
Dispel the fact LaCaze was a day late or the fact there was no-one selected for the 3000m Steeplechase event. No-one is denying these issues.
We have to look at the fact there was a deadline and she missed the deadline. LaCaze should not have been selected.
AA should have stood by its original ruling as everyone including LaCaze would have been aware of the deadline.
Like assignments at school, there is a deadline and if you miss it you are penalised unless you ask for an extension before.
Instead, the board of Athletics Australia buckled under the pressure and shamelessly grovelled at the feet of the public.
They extended the deadline despite the fact Manou and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Fabric Lapierre had yet to qualify. Yet they asked for no favours.
For a sport that aims to be professional, AA have shown themselves be run by inept and incompetent board members.
This not only affects the present, but it sets a dangerous precedent for future championship selections as deadlines will be made redundant.
Why bother sitting back and moping when all you need to do to force your way into the side is to create a media campaign and AA will collapse like a flan in a cupboard.
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- 2012 London Olympics