Norman criticises UK Athletics after Olympic snub

Phil Norman in action

Phil Norman won the British title last week and is the fastest Briton in 32 years [Getty Images]

Britain’s leading 3,000m steeplechase runner Phil Norman has criticised the decision not to pick him for the 2024 Olympic Games.

The 34-year-old was just 0.15 seconds off the standard set by UK Athletics (UKA) to be picked for Team GB’s athletics squad for Paris.

However his time of 8:18.65 put him high enough in the world rankings to be invited to take part in Paris, but UK Athletics’ policy is to decline such invites where the athlete has not met their standard.

Norman, from Barnstaple, ran at the last Olympics in Tokyo and made the final of the 2022 European Championships.

“I battled every step of the way this year on and off the track and successfully qualified for my second Olympic games,” he said in a statement on social media.

“However, due to UKA policy I was not selected and my invite to the Olympic Games will be declined.

“I fought tooth and nail with help of legal counsel and the UKA athletes commission to appeal this decision but unfortunately my appeal was rejected due to 0.15s over 3,000m.

“This season I was British champion, ran the fastest time by a British athlete since 1992 and broke the championship record which had stood since 1990. I am now ranked 6th fastest of all-time on British rankings.

“In the eyes of UKA I am not good enough.

“Physically I am in the shape and form of my life. But mentally and emotionally I have nothing left to give.”

In response, a UKA spokesperson said that a World Athletics ranking qualification does not constitute an invitation to take part, stating that it is a “different qualification route for athletes” allowing federations to make selections that way should they choose to do so.

“UKA’s view is that those athletes should only be selected on similar principles to those selected through the direct qualification standards, i.e. those who are capable of making top eight in their event,” a statement from the body said.

“The UKA standards reflect this and in most cases, those used for this year’s selection were the same standards we used for the World Athletics Championships last year.

“In selecting teams there will always be a line with some people unfortunately on the wrong side of it, and we do understand the disappointment of those who fall into this category.”

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