Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Stockton sprinter to appeal against his Olympic exclusion
STOCKTON sprinter Richard Kilty has appealed against his omission from the Olympic athletics squad.
Kilty had hoped to be selected for the 200m in London, but only Christian Malcolm and James Ellington were named in the squad that was announced on Tuesday.
Charles van Commenee, the head of UK Athletics, could have selected three 200m runners, and Kilty, who runs for Gateshead Harriers, has achieved the 'A' qualifying time of 20.50s.
He would have been guaranteed an Olympic place had he finished in the top two at last month's UK Trials and Championships, but was suffering from a virus and could only finish in eighth position.
The 22-year-old has lodged an appeal against his exclusion, and should learn his fate within the next 48 hours.
“To have run the qualifying standards and have met the criteria and then not be selected, it's heartbreaking really,” said Kilty, who set a new personal best when he ran 20.50s in Arizona in April. “The reason they gave me was due to a lack of current form.
“But that's a bit hypocritical because what they are judging that from is the Olympic trials where I actually had a viral infection diagnosed by the UK Athletics doctors and was advised not to run by them.
“I feel I am capable of running very fast now – the only reason I didn't at the trials was because of the virus. There are three spots available for the Olympic 200m. Two of them are already taken, and the only man eligible for the third spot was me. I had two 'A' standards, one from last year and one from this year.”
Kilty is not one of UK Athletics' centrally-funded athletes, although that did not stop high jumper Robbie Grabarz from making the team.
The Teessider has sacrificed a great deal in the last two years to chase an Olympic spot, moving to London to enable him to train under former Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie.
“Maybe an unfunded athlete breaking into the Great Britain team shows their system is not working,” said Kilty. “I've struggled this year (for money). For the last ten weeks, I've actually been living on a bedroom floor in north London.
“I am unfunded, I have no sponsorship but I've been down here training in London. I've had to sleep on a bedroom floor, getting by on pennies to try to achieve my dream.”