Point of View: Doc looks at Men's Aussie Team Selection
It would seem my article on the Aussie selection shambles created some debate after the initial reaction. Most turned their minds not to the appropriate selection of the women, but to the men, where the advent of Macca in the men’s mix has lawyers getting ready as well. This is a far less serious concern, as I’ll state here who ever Australia pick their medal cabinet is and will be bare. Compared to the women’s decision, which could cost a gold medal, the men’s selection is largely a non-event. But let's give it the clear up that it needs.
Again it still comes down to selectors in all major sport are a thing of the past. However , let's give it some logic that is as of now sadly missing . The male team needs to first work out their philosophy. Do they want a domestic? Or not? If not, then they simply pick the best three and move onwards. Pretty simple really.
So, if we pick the best three. Then, the first man picked is not Sexton or Sticksy. It is the out of form Courtney Atkinson. The reason is if there is a front-pack and their is more than a 50 percent chance that there will be as those already selected from other countries are excellent open water guys, see Gomez Super swimmer and Brownlee brothers, and the two Russians selected take your pick they have five excellent swimmers to choose from.
So, a good selection would cover the breakaway option, and Courtney can and does swim with these guys and when he is on form he can also run with the best. Now, even if he is off-form, he can still swim with these guys. He is bomb-proof in the swim. If a group breaks away, Australia will have some one in it. Both, Sticksy and Sexton, can't swim with these guys if a break occurs. Should their not be a breakaway, then our runner boys are fine anyway. So, the first selection of picking the best three is obvious: Courtney, Sticksy, and Sexton.
Now, option 2 this is where there seems to be a doubt. Personally, I don't know why. Macca on the comeback should have been asked one question: Are you willing to swim 6 times a week minimum 30 km per week every week? If yes, then he would have picked his swim up. But that didn’t happen and he is still swimming out the back. So, how can he be a domestic? Well, he can but for every other country with a great runner who is a terrible swimmer. Macca starts; he will pull every one that is at the back up to our Aussie run duo. And take my tip the guys out the back will be runners of high quality. So, I don't know why he is even considered. Do I think he could do a job for Australia? To be honest, I'd say if he was 100 percent switched on and forgot Ironman, then I think he could not only be a domestic, but if I trained him he could be a medal chance. But that is not the case. The results scream that out.
So, I have no personal agenda, but I will add the spice by saying Australia had the perfect guy in their stable to fill the role of domestic. And I informed them of that 18 months ago when I started training Dave Dellow. I noticed he had untapped ability. He swims front pack and if was given time loves to do as many swim kms as you ask. I had to tone his swim volume down for long course as he thinks 5 kms a day is not enough. So, no dramas there. Then, once in teamTBB his form picked up to no end, I went about getting his bike going and well the record is there for all to see. He took out Noosa and has stuck it to the Ironman boys and just nailed some of the best over the last month. What does Dave bring to the table compared to Macca? He can swim up front, drop back and pick up teammates without bringing into the race the poor swimmers that are fast runners. He can and would have sat on the front of the Aussies and pulled them the whole way from the beginning to the end. No waiting around anxiety to see if Macca was indeed coming along or worse bringing a road train with him. But, I was informed Dave was not in the frame. So, we decided to go a different route and allow Dave to fulfill his triathlon journey with out the politics of the Olympic Selection drama this season. I'm sure it is obvious to all Dave made the right choice.
The Australian men’s triathlon has got much more worries than selection for this Olympics. The men’s team is the weakest I've ever seen in 20 years of triathlon and from what I viewed it’s only going to get worse. Maybe they can stop fighting over the obvious, and put their energy into addressing the real problem and that is once the old guard of Sticksy and Courtney retire after this Olympics. The powers that be, athletes, and their coaches have taken Aussie men’s triathlon back to a 3rd world country status. Thus, ensuring no medals not just in London, but in the next Olympics as well.
Just my point of view,