It will be a long weekend for Australian athletes making last ditch efforts at selection for the Australian Olympic team ahead of Athletics Australia’s selector’s deadlines.
Athletics Australia’s deadline from the Australian Olympic Committee for nomination of the team closes on Monday, almost a month before the IAAF’s close of entries.
The discrepancy in selection periods caused drama four years ago when Jeff Riseley ran an Olympic A-qualifier just outside Athletics Australia’s selection period, but within the IAAF’s. After intervention from high profile media personalities such as Alan Jones, although Athletics Australia did not name Riseley for his Olympic debut, the AOC did. (The complexities of the situation, which could well occur again, described here.
It will also mean that any relay teams (which qualify on the basis on being in the top 16 in the world) will be selected subject to them remaining in the top 16 at the end of the IAAF selection period. In 2004, the women’s 4x400m relay team found themselves in, and then out, of the team to Athens when they were bumped out at the last minute by performances at the African Championships.
However, in a majority of cases and leaving aside considerations of appeals, media campaigns and backroom negotiations, this weekend is the last opportunity for those who have not reached a qualifying standard to do so.
Stay tuned to Inside Athletics for updates on how our athletes fare this weekend.