Jenny’s shock at Olympics snub

Jenny Meadows
Jenny Meadows

WIGAN star Jenny Meadows was last night “shocked” at her Team GB snub.

Her hopes of competing at the London Games were crushed after she was surprisingly overlooked – on the same day she was informed she is in line to receive a European gold!

Meadows won silver at the 2011 event, but Russian winner Yevgenia Zinurova has failed a doping test and will be stripped of her title – propelling the Wigan Harrier up to gold.

Her coach and husband Trevor Painter last night admitted that development was both “small comfort and a slap in the face” after her omission from Team GB.

Despite threatening to appeal if she was left out, they have reluctantly decided not to after “a crazy” move by the panel to ignore other athletes with the A qualifying standards.

Any appeal would need to be lodged by 1pm today but Painter said: “I’m 99 per cent sure we won’t be appealing.

“We’re just shocked, really. It was always going to be a fine line whether Jenny was fit for the trials – we just wish they’d shown a bit more faith in her.”

Meadows said: “Lyndsey (Sharp) must be so pleased and proud of herself – and I wouldn’t want to take that away from an athlete.

“If I appealed, I’d be taking it away from her and I wouldn’t appreciate that being done to me.

“I’ve got my own little agenda now. I’d love to end 2012 on a positive note, I owe that to myself and my team.

“I’ve worked really hard but that’s the personal challenge I need to concentrate on now.”

Former World Championship bronze medallist Meadows – who reached the semi-finals in Beijing – was among four athletes with the ‘A’ standard time left out in favour of Sharp.

Sharp won last month’s trials in Birmingham and then won silver at the European Championships in Helsinki, but she did not have an ‘A’ standard. Picking her, therefore, meant selecting no-one else as athletes with the ‘B’ standard can only be selected if no-one with the ‘A’ is chosen.

Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson, the British No.1 and No.2 this year who performed poorly at the trials, were also left out, as was Jemma Simpson, who was second in Birmingham.

“It’s such an amazing decision,” said Painter. “We were going to appeal if the others with the A standard were selected, but this has changed everything.”

Meadows has not raced in 2012 because of an Achilles injury, and had to pull out of last week’s Euros when the problem flared up on the journey to Finland. UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee said that proved crucial.

Painter added: “We would have been fine for London – Jen’s as fit as she’s ever been, she’s worked harder than she ever has.

“It’s gut-wrenching, when you think that all of the focus of the last three years has been on this, and to have that opportunity taken away from you is heart-breaking.

“It’s just been a year of hell, with her Achilles and now this. But she will bounce back – definitely.”