Point of View: Doc on the Aussie Conundrum
Much has been written about the dilemma that has befallen the Australian team with its ongoing selelction woes, when it comes to the Olympics. Being an Aussie and past Aussie coach, lets me see the bumbling efforts to find a solution that started with the first Olympics when they picked a team that could win both gold medals then giving them a course that made it virtually impossible for them to do so. To say its been a struggle ever since would be a gross understatement. While many view the Australian selection woes as being because of the amount of strong contenders to select from, one would be fooled. It has more to do with a lack of selection leadership as well as the paranoia to select a team via a politicaliy correct procedure.
Selection for the 2012 team has been no different, even though the nation has the reigning Olympic queen Emma Snowsill. Again if you listen to the noise, she is woefully out of form and hasn't been in form since the last Olympics. Again to the person who goes on facts, you would again be wrong. When Emma Snowsill's credentials have been put to the test of a big championship race we see da' mouse doing extraordinary things. Lets put aside her 4 world championship race wins, lets put aside her absolute demolition in the last Olympics, and lets look to the 2010 season, where again under the pump Emma went to the world championships and against all odds launched a performance that was not of this triathlon world. Her reward for showing the world who is still the queen of Olympic distance racing?
Well, the Aussie selectors gave the one spot that didn't need to be earned to her teammate Emma Moffat, who indeed was in the same 2010 race only 1 min 45 behind. No, Snowy didn't break away on the bike. No, she got off behind "the chosen one " and just made everyone in the world look second class. So, you would think she would be rewarded for her return to form by saying, "Emma your a big championship day racer, and we want you to go defend your title at the Olympics". And nobody would have been upset in fact all would have said well done and we know how well Emma will be ready for the Olympics. But no, we give it to her teammate, who in all honesty should never in history be mentioned in the same breath as Emma Snowsill. The gaping distance in class is there to be seen by anyone who has 10min to look at the statistics. So, we now see the world best who was devastated by the lack of support. Then she has gotten sick and is in real trouble and could miss selection for the Aussie team.
The insanity gets worse, as now the Aussie season which is not the "right season" to be firing has thrown up its usual Australian option card, Erin Densham, on the basis of the flawed election policy should be included in the team. It is a must as she was in 2008 on another hot run in the again in the 2012 Aussie season. Don't knock yourself out looking for some of the same stunning performances in Europe or for that matter in August.
But, now we have two Aussie women both selected which leaves the 3rd spot which was being protected for the new Australian hot shot from the end of last year Emma Jackson. Again, my own take is a little different of her ability to perform under pressure, but at present fair to say she is not good enough in comparison to the incomparable Emma Snowsill. She is not fit to carry Snowy's bra strap much less take her spot on the Olympic team.
Conclusion is I'm being harsh, but I'm not. I am just pointing out the fact that to over look Emma Snowsill will guarantee one thing for sure no gold medal for Australia this year and a lot of female triathletes will sleep much easier in the coming days knowing the greatest short course athlete of all time has again been beaten by selectors first time and now we can add selection policy, the second time.