Olympics: Lynsey Sharp thanks ‘brave’ Team GB chief for Olympic nod
TEAM GB coach Charles van Commenee took two hours to select just one name for the women’s 800 metres at London 2012 during a day of squad deliberations – and now Lynsey Sharp, the daughter of 1980 Scottish Olympian Cameron, wants to repay that faith.
Van Commenee picked the Scottish athlete ahead of four English alternatives despite the UK Champion failing to have the A qualifying standard.
Sharp won the Trials in Birmingham ten days ago and took silver in the European Championships in Helsinki on Friday night. As rivals Jenny Meadows and Jemma Simpson launched ‘pick me’ social media campaigns and vowed to appeal, and Marilyn Okoro tweeted about quitting, Sharp stayed diplomatic and Van Commenee went with the form choice as her ‘late run’ to podium glory was replicated in the selection process.
“I feel it was a really brave decision,” said Sharp, who will be joined by three other Scottish female athletes at London 2012 in Eilidh Child, Eilish McColgan and Lee McConnell.
“To pick me they had to de-select four women who had A standards but that’s what they have done. I want to thank them for having such enormous faith in me and now I am absolutely determined not to let them down. I feel bad about those athletes who have missed out. I know I don’t need to but I can’t help it. But, at the end of the day, all I did was run some races the way I wanted and I beat some people. It was always going to be the case that some people would feel very hurt at being left out – and not just in the women’s 800m.
“I was told about the selection early on Tuesday morning but had to keep it silent for a number of hours. I went to the gym and did a good training session and just avoided everyone as best I could. Then, when the embargo passed, I called my dad and he was chuffed to bits for me. I’ve heard a lot of stories over the years about him being at the Olympics in Moscow in 1980 and now I am going as well – it is still quite hard to take in.”
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