Turns out, not only as I reported yesterday were two of our elites told they must drop out of the ITU points race in Hamburg where not only did they have start places, but were expected to do well. [See this piece on runnersweb.com] to compete at Liverpool, but other athletes who were either injured or on recovery/taper weekends have been told they must start even if they plan to drop-out or DNF!
If they don't start, it was implied they wouldn't get any funding until Christmas when apparently the whole plan is being reviewed. This all comes on the back of the Swallow/Whitecombe/Dibbens debacle from Greece. What a way to treat athletes who compete in one of the most physically and mentally demanding of sports, worse than wage slaves.
And for what ? The running of the first Nova International organised Great Liverpool triathlon. The mismanagement this year by the BTA of Nova has been obvious. The only thing that hasn't been obvious is Brendan Foster, Steve Cram and Stuart Storeys involvement in Nova. It will be interesting to watch on BBC Grandstand next week and see if they declare a professional involvement(conflict of interest?) in the race while talking about how it is such a magnificent setting. Also, as they inevitably will, what excuses they make during the commentary for the athletes that drop out.
Next year it will also be interesting to see how many national race series races Nova are awarded, and what they entry price will be. Low entry prices are great for the sport. They encourage people to try the sport, the encourage them to come back, races fill and there is plenty of scope for the race organisers to make money, no one expects organisers to be a charity. However, just becuase triathlon is a multi-sport and requires transition areas and a lot more admin, marshals and planning isn't a reason to rip off competitors and price events only so that those wealthy enough can take part.
Still, the good news is that the BBC are reporting that Michelle "zipper" Dillon will be defending her title at Liverpool! Seems to me Michelle should spend less time competing and more time defending her zipper! :-) Go girl!