Top New Zealand sprinters angry over non-selection for Tokyo Olympics
Christian Petersen / Getty Images
Zoe Hobbs will not represent New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics.
New Zealand’s top sprinters both tackled the New Zealand Olympic Committee after missing the squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
Zoe Hobbs and Eddie Osei-Nketia have both expressed their anger at not being selected for the Games which start next week.
Osei-Nketia said “it sucks and it is unfair” while Hobbs said “it hurts especially when you have qualified but selection is denied due to New Zealand standard / policy”.
The largest Kiwi team of over 200 athletes will compete in the Tokyo Olympics. RNZ’s The Detail highlights athletes to watch.
The duo have written lengthy articles on the subject on their respective Instagram accounts, with Hobbs receiving support from middle distance runner Camille Buscomb, who is part of the New Zealand track team en route to Tokyo.
* When speed is in the family: Edward Osei-Nketia on track to break daddy’s record
* Oceania Track and Field Championships: New Zealand claim double in 100m sprint as Edward Osei-Nketia and Zoe Hobbs win final
* What Edward Osei-Nketia needs to run to qualify for the Olympics
Both sprinters believe the selection criteria, with the NZOC requiring athletes to be able to finish in the top 16, was not a fair policy.
Hobbs described his non-selection as “a missed opportunity”.
“Not only does a non-selection inhibit the opportunities for experience and exposure to international competition, it also harms the opportunities that come after the games. That is, getting financial support to sustain the already financially stressed environment many of us find ourselves in, ”Hobbs wrote.
Nketia is the second fastest New Zealand sprinter in history with a best time of 10.12 seconds, but failed to reach New Zealand’s qualifying time of 10.05 seconds.
“Qualifying for the games is one thing, but qualifying and your NOC still does not send [sic] you, it really hurts, man.
“While other athletes from other countries can attend the games. This is [sic] it sucks and it’s unfair but that’s how it is. Put in soo [sic] lots of time, sweat, tears and blood in this game just so you can one day represent the country the country deserves instead of being turned down.
Hobbs – who tied the New Zealand women’s 100m record of 11.32 seconds this year but was still below the Olympic qualifying mark set at 11.15 seconds – was backed by Buscomb, who could draw the anger of the NZOC.
“It drives me so crazy,” Buscomb replied on Instagram.
“Needs to change and to be fought, but I don’t know how or who. It’s happened to a few people this Olympic cycle and it shouldn’t happen. They shouldn’t be able to get by. “