Women's 800m selection headache
June 23, 2012 21:41 pm
The women's 800 metres looks set to give UK Athletics their biggest Olympic selection headache with five athletes still in contention for the three places on the team after the trials in Birmingham.
Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson, the two athletes with the current 'A' standard, missed out on the top-two finish at Alexander Stadium they needed to guarantee their place in London.
British number one Okoro, who set off at a suicidal pace and paid for it in the closing stages, finished fifth, while Jackson, who revealed afterward she was running with a broken rib, was seventh. Instead, Edinburgh athlete Lynsey Sharp won in two minutes 01.72 seconds with Cornwall's Jemma Simpson second in 2mins 02.29secs - both athletes have the 'B' standard only, with Simpson the quicker.
Okoro has run three current 'A' standards this summer, Jackson one, while Jenny Meadows, who has not run this year due to an Achilles injury and pulled out of the trials, is a former world bronze medallist and can boast a host of standards from last year.
But with none guaranteed a place, they are relying on a discretionary spot.
The first two athletes home at the trials are guaranteed a place, provided they fulfil the selection criteria, with a third spot available at the discretion of the selectors.
Jackson said on Twitter: "Devastated. I fractured my rib last week. I tried my best to get myself on the line but it was obv too much for my body."
Okoro Tweeted: "Dunno what's worse running like a loon or crying like a loon in front of so many ppl orrrrr the waitinggggggggg!"
Sharp added: "I will be going to Euros as I still need A standard for Olympic selection, hopefully it all comes 2gether there."
All five contenders are in the provisional squad for the European Championships in Helsinki next week where the issue is likely to be settled. Sharp and Simpson can guarantee their Olympic places if they run the 'A' standard in the Finnish capital.
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