Tamsyn Manou says her Olympic fight feels futile
Olympic outcast Tamsyn Manou says her bitter fight to run in London feels futile as Australia’s campaign strikes another selection snag.
OLYMPIC outcast Tamsyn Manou says her bitter fight to run in London feels futile as Australia’s campaign strikes another selection snag.
As separate claims of bias unsettle equestrian circles, Manou says Australian officials prefer to have no runner in her 800m event than to give her a chance at this month’s London Games.
Manou, the 10-time 800m national champion, failed to log an automatic qualifying time in a European race at the weekend – her last chance to book an Olympic berth.
But the 33-year-old is considering appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the same over-arching body involved in Australia’s unseemly equestrian selection spat.
Manou cites her national title-holder status and clocking a B qualifying time as basis for making a fourth Olympics, but concedes winning any appeal “seems futile”.
“I need an absolute miracle,” Manou wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“Have a time that could get me in, won trials, but AA (Athletics Australia) have tougher selection than IAAF.”
In other posts, Manou wrote: “AA would prefer no 8 (800m) runner than give me a chance … glad I supported them domestically for 20 years” and “unfortunately I’m relying on people who don’t seem to want a full team of sprinters/mid runners”.
Manou needed a time inside 1min 59.90sec in Belgium on Saturday but finished in 2:01.51. She has not run below two minutes in four years.
But, like dressage rider Hayley Beresford, Manou seems set on a last-ditch appeal to CAS.
Beresford lost her CAS appeal after being overlooked for the dressage team, claiming bias resulted in the selection of Kristy Oatley – the granddaughter of wealthy equestrian benefactor Bob Oatley.
Oatley, who in Sydney a dozen years ago finished ninth as Australia’s best Olympic individual dressage result, was named alongside her cousin Lyndal Oatley and medal prospect Edwina Tops-Alexander.
Beresford claimed Kristy Oatley was afforded greater chances to make the team.
There have also been claims of bribery, intimidation and personality clashes in the shaping of other sections of Australia’s Olympic team.
Weightlifter Daniel Koum is accused of demanding a $5000 bribe to lift at an event in Samoa, knowing if he didn’t Australia wouldn’t qualify any lifters for London. Mike Keelan, the coach who said he paid Koum, was sacked a month out from the Games.
And archer Odette Snazelle applied for an interim violence order against the father of Elisa Barnard, a rival for an Olympic spot.
Snazelle accused Barnard’s father of intimidation at selection events, but the AVO was dismissed in court. Barnard was selected for London, while Snazelle missed.
Rower Pippa Savage also protested being tossed out of the women’s quad sculls boat after continual clashes with crewmates.
The 31-year-old was reinstated as a reserve on appeal, but will only make the London Games if another rower gets sick or injured. – AAP