Inside Athletics

Australia’s women’s 4x100m relay out of Olympics

Results from the heats of the European Championships have knocked Australia’s women’s 4x100m relay team out of a qualifying position for the London Olympics.

With only the top 16 teams in the world, based on the aggregate of their best two times, being given entry, Australia’s quartet of Sally Pearson, Melissa Breen, Hayley Butler, Charlotte van Veenendaal and Jessica Knox was always in perilous danger of losing their place, being ranked in 16th place.

No team outside the top 16 improved at the African Championships, but it was a different story at the European Championships, with both Poland and Switzerland surpassing Australia’s mark. In the end it was in emphatic style, with Poland improving their aggregate by 0.65 seconds with a 43.13 second run to move 0.58 seconds ahead of Australia’s aggregate. In the same race, Switzerland broke their national record with a 43.51 seconds and also overtook Australia.

The result means that Butler, van Veenendaal and Knox will not gain the coveted status of Olympian, while Pearson (100m hurdles) and Breen (100m) will remain in the team in their individual events.

Also knocked out of the top 16 was Great Britain, who were leapfrogged by both Poland and Switzerland. The Great Britain team was disqualified, meaning they will not line up in the final: the final qualifying chance before the IAAF’s relay qualification period closes on 2 July.