A number of high profile Loughborough athletes could miss out on the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Stadium in London after an adjustment in the entry process from BUCs. Loughborough Students Athletics Club (LSAC) set to have had their numbers restricted by BUCs for the BUCs Championships which is to be held on Friday 4 – Monday 7 May 2012.
The annual BUCs Outdoor Athletics Championship 2012 has already been announced as a London 2012 Test Event, part of the London Prepares Series, and will therefore be held at the Olympic Stadium. And due to an expected increase in entrants to compete at this year’s event, BUCs have been forced to adjust its entry process in an attempt to allow as many universities to take part as possible.
All BUCs Member Institutions will be allowed one entry per event, regardless of standard. If an event reaches it's capacity, the athletes with the fastest PBs will be permitted to compete. Should an event not reach capacity, institutions will be allowed to enter a second or even third competitor. PBs will be used if a second or third entry from each institution exceeds the capacity for an event.
The LSAC usually enter as many as three or four into each event due to the high standard of athletes at the university. In the 400m hurdles, for example, Nathan Woodward, Niall Flannery and Richard Davenport could now be competing against each other for a space on the bus to London in May. Woodward, who represented GB in the World Championships in Daegu earlier this year, will be competing against Flannery and Davenport both of whom competed at the World Student Games over the summer.
Justine Kinney will also have a fight on her hands to make an appearance at the Olympic Stadium, an Ireland representative at the European Championships and World Student Games, with Meghan Beesley. Beesley will be favourite to represent the LSAC after her individual bronze in the European U23 Championships and relay bronze in the World Student Games.
As things stand, there will be some real selection headaches for the LSAC, Label spoke to LSAC Club Captain, Michael Baker who said:
"This is a far from ideal situation for us as a university with so many high quality committed athletes, so many of whom deserve the opportunity to compete at BUCS in the 2012 Olympic Stadium next year. We are currently working very closely with the other large athletics universities Bath, UWIC, Brunel, Birmingham and Leeds Met, to ensure that our message is heard loud and clear by BUCS and LOCOG (the organisers of the event).”
Loughborough athletes look to face a nervous few months, as they wait to see if they will be allowed to compete. Entries for the Championships open on February 28 2012.