Tamsyn Manou dines out on past glories
I feel I am about the only athlete in Australia not to have launched an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding my non Olympic selection.
Considering my current personal best for the 100 metre sprint could be timed with a sun dial and for anything longer using a calendar, I don’t really have an argument for my case.
However, it seems that qualifying standards are just a rough guide according to some competitors. Tamsyn Manou nee Lewis seems to dining out on past glories to gain a spot in the Olympic team.
Not having run a time under two minutes for two years, you would have to agree with the selectors. Yes, she is a former indoor world champion and yes she has won numerous national titles, but if you have little prospect than finishing way down the pack in the first round there hardly seems much point.
Considering the cost to Australian tax payers and the AOC to send the team to London, you would hope they are of some chance of at least making semi finals as it hardly seems worth it from a financial viability point of view even if it does mean that we do not have competitors in a lot of events.
Yes, Merlene Ottey did not qualify either for Slovenia, as she would struggle to make is past the first round, but she did not whinge to all and sundry about her past glories to gain selection to her eighth Olympics.
Manou’s attitude is starting to sound reminiscent of Pat Cash who, many years after his one grand slam win at Wimbledon, was still demanding wild cards to enter tournaments even though his form and ranking gave little assurance to tournament directors that he would make it past the first round. By gaining a wildcard he was guaranteeing himself a first round pay cheque and, most times, ranking points.
You could agree with Manou if she was coming back from injury and her times were on the way down to very close to the mark to be granted a waiver and be selected, but alas, they are not.
Considering the times that the top ranked runners like Pamela Jelimo are currently setting, Manou would be finishing a good fifty metres behind them. Ranked outside the top eighty in the world at the moment, with a time set in February, there seems little justification for her non-selection appeal apart from the national champion plea.
However, if all countries were to have a competitor just for that reason, then there could be in excess of 200 competitors for each event! Most runners would have to race up to ten times to make the final. By then they would be lucky to be standing let alone running.
I think common sense has prevailed in this case with Manou. Yes, I missed selection too, for the sheer utter reason that I am not good enough anymore.