Sharp set to miss out on Olympic Games

Lynsey Sharp admits she can thank good breeding for her athletic prowess – unfortunately, though, it seems she was still born in the wrong place.


Sharp's father Cameron won Commonwealth Games gold and represented Great Britain at the 1980 Moscow Olympics while her mother, Carol, was also an international athlete.

But if she'd born across the Atlantic, where the top three in the US trials book their selections, her Olympic place would now be guaranteed - instead it seems likely she will watch the Games with her family on television.

It's certainly been the biggest week in the life of the 21-year old. She graduated from Edinburgh Napier University, won the national title in Birmingham and claimed 800m silver at the European Championships here.

You would think that life could not get much better but without the A standard time of 1.59.9, Britain's in-form two lapper can't be considered.

Instead it seems that Marilyn Okoro, Emma Jackson and former world medallist Jenny Meadows will be named when Charles van Commenee reveals his British track and field team on Tuesday.

The selection of Okoro ahead of Sharp will certainly rankle the Scot’s supporters. Okoro's often bizarre tactics are continually exposed at top level, where races aren't won on speed alone. Sharp also already proven herself a canny championship performer and she’s peaking when it matters.

Sharp does have the B standard selection time and could be selected but that means Van Commenee would only be able to take one 800m athlete to the Games, rather than three, a matter further complicated by ongoing injury problems for Jackson and Meadows.

“If someone had told me a year ago that I was going to become the European silver medallist I would have been so happy,” said Sharp.

“In any other year this would be amazing, beyond my wildest dreams, but to be so close to the A standard time and not get it is really frustrating.

“I’m trying so hard to focus on the positives, I ran such a clever race against a really strong field and came away with the silver.

“But I know that in a few weeks time I will be running that A standard and if I were to be selected I would be in great form for the Games but I just have no idea at the moment what is going on.

“I do feel the selection is a bit unfair, I have come into form at exactly the right time, I beat all my rivals bar Jenny (Meadows) at the trials, and I have shown that I’m a Championships performer.

“I’ve done everything that was asked of me except run the A-standard. I saw Charles (van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics) after my race back at the team hotel and he congratulated me on a good performance but I haven’t seen him since, he’s probably trying to avoid me!

“I've obviously really complicated the situation for them so now I will have a very nervous few days to wait and see.”

Sharp’s mother Carol was in the stadium in Helsinki to watch her daughter claim silver, and in the process match father Cameron’s achievement from 1982.

And after a little time to reflect on her performance with her family Sharp is beginning to accept the reality of the situation she finds herself in.

“Whatever happens with selection, at the end of the day no-one can ever take this medal away from me,” she added.

“To have my Mum with me at the medal ceremony was very special and I spoke to my Dad on the phone and he was proud, he knew I wanted to race well rather than get a certain time.

“It would mean more than anything to compete in London but I'm still young and have many more major championships ahead of me, I just feel I would do Britain proud this summer if given the chance.”

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