Rhythmic gymnasts earn a London 2012 reprieve

BRITAIN will have a chance of gold in rhythmic gymnastics for the first time at London 2012 after the team successfully appealed to be selected for this summer’s Games.

Independent arbitrator Sports Resolutions UK ruled yesterday that it was not convinced the team knew that only their performances on the first two days of January’s test event would count.

The team successfully achieved the qualifying standard on the third day of the competition at the O2, but later discovered to their dismay that their achievements had come too late for British Gymnastics.

The verdict means that British Gymnastics will now nominate the team to the British Olympic Association, who can now accept the host country position offered under the rules of the sport’s world governing body FIG. Subject to formalities, it will result in a British rhythmic gymnastics team competing at an Olympics for the first time in history.

Arbitrator Graeme Mews said British Gymnastics’ selection policy was “not well drafted” and did not “unequivocally” state that the team had only a small window of opportunity to qualify for London 2012.