Unfortunately I will not be representing Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. It’s disappointing on so many levels.
There were three positions available on the Welsh team, however only two Welsh women were chosen: the very talented Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins.
In November last year, it was made clear by selectors that the 3rd position was essentially a domestique role and the chosen athlete would also secure a place on the team relay. I was in direct communication with the selection committee and essentially I had fulfilled their requirements to make the team by racing ITU Continental Cups in Mexico and Chile earlier this year, both of which I won.
However, a few weeks ago, the ITU (International Triathlon Union) apparently changed the rules that no longer required athletes from the individual event to compete in the team relay. The selectors felt that Non and Helen did not need any help in securing a podium performance in the individual event and therefore selectors decided to forfeit the 3rd team position and just chose an athlete for the team relay. My strengths are not in the super-sprint distance and therefore I was not an ideal candidate for the team relay.
This would have been my last Commonwealth Games had I made the team. I feel I could have done my bit to help Non and Helen win medals. And furthermore, I feel I could have had a bloody decent race myself.
I’m definitely frustrated that the goal posts were moved so late in the selection process. I could have spent my time and money doing things a lot differently. It was also a huge risk coming back with such race intensity after my chronic injury last year.
But after all is said and done, I’m ultimately grateful for the opportunity I was given to try to qualify. It made me realize two things:
1. I may be 36, but I’m racing as well (if not faster) than I did when I was 26!
2. I am so happy that I now race Ironman and non-drafting events. It totally sucks that your fate or destiny lies in the hands of a selection committee. I like that my success has been built as a product of my own ability to make it to the start line…..not the decision of a selection panel.
There is one thing that disappoints me most about not being selected: I can not give back and bring more exposure to a sport that has given me so much. Nor can I reach and inspire people with my story who may only be exposed to triathlon through watching the Commonwealth Games. Maybe they will read my book some day.