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Mon 4th Jul 2022
© Delly Carr / ITU Media /
Helen Jenkins selected for Rio 2016
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Thursday 21st April 2016

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“We regret to inform you that you have not been selected to represent Team GBR in the Rio Olympic Games”

It is with these words from Jodie Stimpson that, as expected, Helen Jenkins has - subject to ratification from the British Olympic Association - been 'confirmed' (unofficially) as the third and final member for the British Female triathlon team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Helen will join the previously nominated Non Stanford and Vicky Holland who earned automatic selection in 2015 through podium finishes at both the Rio Test Event and the Chicago Grand Final.

The official announcement of the British Olympic team, including the selection of the third male athlete to join the Brownlee brothers, is expected on June 7th.

"This was the hardest email I have ever had to read in my triathlon career so far. Not because it wasn’t what I was expecting – I knew after my performance on the Gold Coast that I wouldn’t be going to the Games but it is hard to read, and hard to digest."

Prior to the ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast event two weeks ago I wrote an extensive preview piece to highlight what was - effectively, if not explicitly - a head-to-head for the final Olympic slot, taking into account the full selection policy criteria. With the magnificent victory of Helen Jenkins, and Jodie finishing twelfth, in what was the final (and highest priority) 'Assessment Race', this news is practically fait accompli. I wrote in my post-race report immediately after the race, "Helen Jenkins, that was a triathlon masterclass. That should result in the fastest selection meeting in history, congratulations Helen – there can be no doubts now, it’s Rio for you in August."

With four incredibly strong, potentially medal winning athletes in the British women's squad currently, my closing words from that preview two weeks ago are more true now than ever, "It's a shame that someone will miss out... but that is (the joy and pain of) elite sport."

Of course, that pain is the hardest for Jodie Stimpson. Having won in Abu Dhabi (and at the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup), she arrived in Gold Coast full of confidence that she could produce what was required. It didn't work out for her on the day - but Jodie is still an incredible (and young, at just 27), athlete with much success ahead of her. With four career World Triathlon Series wins on her CV already, only Gwen Jorgensen (15) plus Paula Findlay and Emma Moffat (5 each) have more. The only other athletes to have managed to top the podium four times are the current Olympic Gold and Silver medallists, Nicola Spirig and Lisa Norden. That is company of the highest order.

Read Jodie's full, and incredibly emotional blog on this link:


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