Local triathlete Emma Jackson, left, will compete at the London Olympics after seeing off an appeal from Emma Snowsill, right.
Following a few anxious days, the Olympic dream of Joyner’s Emma Jackson has come true.
Triathlon Australia nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee that Jackson, Erin Densham and dual world champion Emma Moffatt be the three-member Australian women’s team for next month’s Olympic Games in London.
However, reigning Olympic champion Emma Snowsill, who was omitted from the team for the London Games, appealed her non-selection.
Snowsill’s appeal was dismissed by an independent three-person Olympic Appeals Tribunal on Monday night.
Snowsill said she would not take her fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, paving the way for 20-year-old Jackson to make her Olympic debut in England.
“It is just the greatest feeling knowing that all your hard work has paid off and you are going to be an Olympian,” Jackson wrote from France via email.
“It was also great news for my coach and my family as they have worked just as hard as me to get me to this point.”
Jackson, the highest placed Australian in last year’s world championship series, said she felt “no animosity at all” towards Snowsill.
“There was three of us who were very close and vying for those two (Olympic) spots, so of course if you are the one that missed out you have to do everything you can to ensure that the correct decision was made,” Jackson said.
“Emma Snowsill is the greatest female ITU triathlete of all time and I hope that I can be as successful in my career as she has been in hers.”
Speaking to The Westerner last week, Samford resident and ex-Olympic triathlete Rina Hill said it was “very hard to win a challenge” when appealing non-selection for an Australian triathlon team.
Hill recalled her results in qualifying races for the 1999 World Championships should have given her a place in the Australian team, however “out-of-form” two-time world champion Emma Carney was selected instead. Hill challenged the selectors’ decision, but her appeal failed.
Hill said she “would have bet my life” that Snowsill would be named in the Australian team for the London Olympics.
“All credit to Emma Jackson, she has been performing well, but the Olympics is a different kettle of fish altogether,” said Hill, who was picked ahead of Snowsill and Michellie Jones to represent Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
“Snowsill is the reigning Olympic champion and they know she can perform at those particular races.
“I was surprised that they (the selectors) didn’t go with the safer option (Snowsill), because we know she can perform under pressure and she’s done it before.
“I feel bad for all the girls involved (in the appeal) because the last thing they need coming into the Olympics is to be worried who are the actual team members.
“It’s just ridiculous that this late in the game this is all happening. It’s just going to disrupt everyone.”
Jackson admits while Snowsill’s appeal was “a little distracting”, she insists “it has not really affected my training.”