Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reid Wins Canadian Trials 5000 --- But Fails to Get Olympic "A"
Canadian Olympic Berth in Limbo

Sheila Reid won another Canadian national title yesterday at the Canadian Olympic Trials, winning the 5000 meters in 16:15.23. That win, unfortunately, will not automatically give her a place on the Canadian Olympic team. In order to be assured of such a spot yesterday, Reid needed to finish in the top three at the Trials and do so in an Olympic "A" time of 15:20 or less. Reid ran 15:23 earlier this summer, just short of that "A" standard, and yesterday's race, obviously, was much too slow for that to happen. However, no other Canadian woman possesses that "A" standard, and the Canadian authorities now have the option of (a) sending only Reid with her "B" standard (thanks to the so-called "Rising Star" provision, which allows a young "B" standard athlete to win a spot if no other athlete in that event has achieved the "A" standard), or not sending anyone at all to London in that event.

The Canadian Olympic authorities have taken severe criticism for two decisions: (1) not allowing top finishers at the Trials to chase the "A" standard after the Trials are done, and (2) holding those Trials in the first place at altitude in Calgary. The latter decision made it almost impossible for middle distance and distance runners to achieve the "A" standard at the Canadian Trials, and the decision not to allow post-Trials times to count toward the attainment of Olympic standards only added insult to injury. As it stands now, despite winning the Olympic Trials title and with no Canadian "A" standard competitors, Reid is not yet on the Canadian Olympic team.

Event 610  Women 5000 Metre Run
    Canadian: * 14:54.98  8/30/2003   Courtney Babcock                 
Championship: $ 15:08.90  2003        Emilie Mondor                    
    Name                    Year Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Reid, Sheila              89 Athletics Toronto     16:15.23        
  2 Brown, Megan              85 Athletics Toronto     16:16.44        
  3 Korir, Tarah              87 Athletics Toronto     16:41.94        
  4 Fraser, Natasha           81 BC Athletics          16:59.19        
  5 Thompson, Carise          92 Speed River Tfc       17:34.26        
  6 Hinther, Ashley           84 PR Athletics Track    17:37.44        
  7 Kennelly, Bevin           84 Excel Athletica       17:48.06        
  8 Pfister, Caroline         92 Sherbrooke            18:32.37        
 -- Souter, Jodi              88 Queen City S               DNF

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