Sharp chosen over Meadows and Okoro for GB Olympic team

Lynsey Sharp will be the sole British entrant in women’s 800m, beating off four other athletes with the ‘A’ standard

Lynsey Sharp (Mark Shearman)

The British Olympic Association today revealed the list of 71 athletes who will represent Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.

Many athletes had been automatically selected after the Olympic Trials, after finishing top two in their event and being in possession of an ‘A’ standard.

Other events, meanwhile, were left open as athletes were given a chance to chase further qualifying marks in the lead up to the deadline.

Most controversial of all though, is the inclusion of Lynsey Sharp. The 800m runner does not have an ‘A’ standard, while two other Britons – Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson – achieved the mark this year, and Jemma Simpson and Jenny Meadows both have ‘A’ standards from last year.

But Sharp threw a spanner in the works when she won the Trials race, as Okoro and Jackson struggled and missed out on automatic selection. The Scot added further weight to her chances when winning a silver medal at the European Championships last week.

In selecting Sharp off the back of having just the ‘B’ standard, it meant that UKA could not select any of the four athletes with the ‘A’ standard. Okoro – who earlier today tweeted “I’m quitting” – has been included in the 4x400m.

Elsewhere, there were other notable inclusions and omissions. Athletes with two ‘A’ standards from last year – including UK 100m champion Dwain Chambers and former world 1500m silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey – have been added to the team. 400m runners Lee McConnell and Nigel Levine only have one ‘A’ standard each, but have been given a spot in the individual event as they had been named in the relay.

Others, though – including Gareth Warburton in the 800m and European bronze medallist Danny Talbot in the 200m – have not been named on the team, despite satisfying the IAAF selection criteria by having one ‘A’ standard.

Chambers, who will compete in both the 100m and 4x100m, is not the only athlete with a drugs past to be included in the team as Carl Myerscough has been selected in the shot. Up until April this year, both athletes were still subject to a lifetime Olympic ban set by the BOA, which has since been lifted.

In other events, Stuart Stokes was selected over Luke Gunn in the 3000m steeplechase, while Andy Turner and Rhys Williams grabbed the third and final spots in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles respectively, two of the most competitive events in the country.

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis are among the biggest names in the team and will carry with them the heaviest weight of expectation. Farah has been named in both the 5000m and 10,000m, while Ennis goes in the heptathlon and has only been included in the 100m hurdles as a back-up.

British Olympic team

100m: Dwain Chambers, James Dasaolu, Adam Gemili
200m: James Ellington, Christian Malcolm
400m: Nigel Levine, Martyn Rooney, Conrad Williams
800m: Andrew Osagie, Michael Rimmer
1500m: Andy Baddeley, Ross Murray
5000m: Mo Farah, Nick McCormick
10,000m: Farah, Chris Thompson
3000mSC: Stuart Stokes
110mH: Lawrence Clarke, Andrew Pozzi, Andy Turner
400mH: Jack Green, Dai Greene, Rhys Williams
High jump: Robbie Grabarz
Pole vault: Steve Lewis
Long jump: Greg Rutherford, Chris Tomlinson
Triple jump: Phillips Idowu
Shot: Carl Myerscough
Discus: Abdul Buhari, Brett Morse, Lawrence Okoye
Hammer: Alex Smith
Javelin: Mervyn Luckwell
Decathlon: Daniel Awde
50kmW: Dominic King
4x100m: Chambers, Dasaolu, Ellington, Gemili, Mark Lewis-Francis, Malcolm, Danny Talbot, Simeon Williamson
4x400m: Richard Buck, Green, Greene, Luke Lennon-Ford, Levine, Rooney, Rob Tobin, Williams

100m: Anyika Onuora, Abi Oyepitan
200m: Margaret Adeoye, Onuora, Oyepitan
400m: Shana Cox, Lee McConnell, Christine Ohuruogu
800m: Lynsey Sharp
1500m: Lisa Dobriskey, Hannah England, Laura Weightman
5000m: Julia Bleasdale, Barbara Parker, Jo Pavey
10,000m: Bleasdale, Pavey
3000mSC: Eilish McColgan, Parker
100mH: Jessica Ennis, Tiffany Porter
400mH: Eilidh Child, Perri Shakes-Drayton
Pole vault: Holly Bleasdale, Kate Dennison
Long jump: Shara Proctor
Triple jump: Yamile Aldama
Hammer: Sophie Hitchon
Javelin: Goldie Sayers
Heptathlon: Ennis, Louise Hazel, Katarina Johnson-Thompson
20kmW: Johanna Jackson
4x400m: Child, Cox, Emily Diamond, McConnell, Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro, Nicola Sanders, Shakes-Drayton

24 Responses to “Sharp chosen over Meadows and Okoro for GB Olympic team”

  1. John Robinson says:

    What a brave and correct decision to choose only Lynsey Sharp for the 800m

  2. skimpton says:

    Agreed re Lynsey sharp.
    Warburton should have been selected though.
    Kilty or Talbot???

  3. Kevin O'Neill says:

    It's rare that I agree with the selectors, but I think they've got it right this time. Lynsey has amply proven her racing ability and had to be included, unfortunate though it is for the others. Okoro may be bitter but she blew it when it mattered, and Meadows can hardly be at her best after being out all season. Rimmer too has a proven racing ability and, despite not being 100% at the trials, nearly made it. Warburton (although a fellow Welshman) has been up and down and has not shown his ability to go through the rounds. Who'd be a selector?

  4. phil says:

    Why no Jade Nicholls in the discus? She has achieved two b standards since April 2012

  5. RunningDive says:

    Lynsey Sharpe earned her selection with two great racing performances at the trials and Europeans, the selectors have made a brave and inspired choice here. However, they have got it completely wrong with Dwain Chambers. He is not performing at the required level, is not likely to do so in the future, and to cap it all is a convicted drug cheat. He should not be allowed anywhere near the Olympic Stadium and I look forward to seeing him fail to qualify for the final.

    • Mike Ruffell says:

      I absolutely agree with Running Dive here. I am pleased to see Lynsey Sharp in the team as a reward for her dedication recently, but am also disappointed for the athletes left out as a result of a wonky rule. But all the athletes know the criteria at the start of the season and should be striving to achieve the required level and make selection automatic (funded or not).

      I also would have liked to see Chambers and Myerscough omitted from the team, neither deserve their place on current form and their selection is a cop out by UKA I feel (unwilling to take the flak from the media perhaps). UKA have been quite prepared to omit women sprinters who aren't up to the standard individually or the relay squad (the relay squad qualification is a separate issue), so why include men sprinters who aren't up to the standard either – presumably because of the higher profile of Chambers thanks to the low standards and understanding of sports reporters in the media (newspapers and TV and Radio).

      Apart from that I think UKA have chosen a team of athletes that will deliver exciting and committed performances even if they don't actually get to finals or win medals (better than I expected from UKA I must admit!)

      • John says:

        I agree with Kevin. Everyone should be allowed a second chance, even murderers and rapists, so why not an athlete who made a dumb decision several years ago, and has shown remorse. Get real folks, people make mistakes.

    • Kevin O'Neill says:

      Chambers has served his punishment, give the guy a break. Even murderers are freed after being punished. And as far as him being not good enough, I don't see you criticising those he beat in the trials.

  6. ts74 says:

    Lynsey sharp, a spot on selection

  7. iiiii says:

    Incorrect decision IMO, she hasn't ever run sub-2!

    • Kevin O'Neill says:

      The ability to win races is far more important than fast times. Look at all the Russian women, for example, who run spectacular times in Russia and later fail at championships.

  8. alex_800 says:

    I have to say that I agree with the decision to selection of Lynsey Sharp, hard as it may have been. With Jenny Meadows' achilles tendon flaring up on the flight to Helsinki, alarm bells must have been ringing in the selectors' heads. I`d be surprised to see her in action at all this year. Marilyn Okoro let herself down again in the trials with her primary school pace judgement and Emma Jackson didn't deliver when it mattered either, as sadly she too is carrying an injury. I agree with skimpton above the Warburton should have been selected on the merits of his single A standard time. Making him chase the standard in his heat and semi at Helsinki did him no favours at all, particularly as that came on the back of a strength-sapping trials just days earlier.

  9. Iain says:

    Great, gutsy decision regarding Lynsey, good luck in London and to all those missed out, I hope you use it to spur you on in the future.

  10. basil from school says:

    So sad that British champions with qualifying standards have not been selected.
    shame on you Mr van Commenee.

  11. ray pickles says:

    no Irozuru or Byres – young talent ! And MLF good enough for the relay yet Warburton and the likes of Kilty/Talbot aren't good enough?

  12. @MrJarrett_ says:

    I have very few nice thing to say about this selection. As a 25 year old former athlete I really feel for all of those who haven't been picked to go, knowing how much this Olympics means to them. Yes the Lynsey sharp selection is horrible and obviously feuded by UKA's favouritism, but there is also many event where we will not have either the full 3 athletes or no athletes at all.

    Look at the men's 200m, we have three people who aren't going with the A standard, Gareth warbaton in the 800m, a choice between chris Thompson and Tom Farrell in the 5k and Samson oni in the high jump. And that's just the men.

    Hattie archer, Katie byres and Abigail irozuru all could of been part of this years team. In the shot and discus we are not going to be represented by anyone however Eden Francis has the B standard in the shot and both Francis and jade Nichols have the B standard in the discus.

    Even though the selectors claim they are only taking Boole who can compete, let's be honest, most of our athletes will not make it to the finals and I'm betting that we will take no more than 6 medals this time round, so why the hell are we leaving so many out of our home Olympics?

  13. Guest says:

    There's nothing brave about the decision. Sharp has proved herself a championship performer, Okoro hasn't. Meadows has but she hasn't raced all year while Jackson's best times were achieved early in the season (a traditional problem with British middle distance runners). Simpson was unlucky with injury but Sharp is marginally faster. It's not a controversial decision it's the correct one in the circumstances. I wish her all the best.

  14. bob says:

    How can they say you have to run an A standard and then select and athlete who hasnt! Yes she is running well but it makes the whole selection process a bit of a joke. There needs to be more defined rules rather than selectors favorites! Missing athletes in other events who have run A times (hatti Dean, kilty!) And not taking anyone in events where athletes have achieved B standards! Olympics on home soil… Take a FULL team!!!! It at least gives athletes experience for the future, how can we expect them to improve and compete against the best without the chance!!!

  15. FS1978 says:

    I personnaly think they should have given Marylin a chance in the Euros, Im not sure why they didnt. I think she is the only athlete with a Anyway they didnt therefore I cant see any other choice other than to pick Lynsey. Beaten them all, ranked higher and beaten Jemma twice, Emm is injured, Marylin messed up the trials, Jenny hasnt run this year and is injured. I think she is very very lucky in terms of circumstances have allowed her to be in this position (Im not sure how many athletes with her PB would have won Euro silver and gone to the Olympics with a B standrad when there are athlets with and A – think her PB to date would have ranked her 5-6 for the last 5 years in GB) but they way its turned out she deserves to go and I think the selectors were pretty much left with no choice. Good luch to her.

  16. John says:

    I'm not up to speed on the rules, please help. Why couldn't Lynsey Sharp AND two others not be selected?

    • Kevin O'Neill says:

      Because she did not have the A standard. If more than 1 person is selected they must have the A.

    • Roy142857 says:

      Olympic Rules. You can select up to 3 athletes for an event who have the 'A' standard time, OR you can choose one athlete only who has the 'B' standard time. Therefore you can't take a 'B' standard athlete and an athlete with the 'A' standard. Sharp only has a 'B' standard.

  17. broadbean says:

    It's worth remembering a similar dilemma four years ago. Trials winner, rising star and 'B' standard holder Perri Shakes-Drayton was overlooked in favour of 'A' standard holder, experienced international and trials runner-up Tasha Danvers. Most people thought Shakes-Drayton a better bet. They were proved wrong. It will be interesting to see what transpires this time, now the selection committee have gone the other way.

    The main point this whole process has highlighted is the absurdity of some of the criteria itself and the inconsistency across the board. There are athletes in Team GB who are not in the same league as Meadows and Okoro, yet they will get their Olympic vest. Meadows and Okoro (if we ignore the token relay pick) won't. The men's marathon is a perfect example. We have one two men selected with B standard times and one with the A. Yet, the criteria will not permit selecting any A standard athletes alongside a B standard in the women's 800m. Bonkers.

  18. broadbean says:

    It's worth remembering a similar dilemma four years ago. Trials winner, rising star and 'B' standard holder Perri Shakes-Drayton was overlooked in favour of 'A' standard holder, experienced international and trials runner-up Tasha Danvers. Most people thought Shakes-Drayton a better bet. They were proved wrong. It will be interesting to see what transpires this time, now the selection committee have gone the other way.

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