Rio 2016: Tina Cook 'disappointed and deflated' after missing out on Olympics

Tina Cook
Tina Cook enjoyed success at the Olympics in London four years ago

Three-time Olympic medallist Tina Cook has said she is "disappointed and deflated" after missing out on Great Britain's Rio 2016 eventing team.

Cook, who turns 46 next month, has been named as second reserve.

"I've been the leading British rider at the last two Olympics and I've been very consistent with these horses this year, so I felt I ticked the box for consistency," she told BBC Sussex.

"I felt as good as ever this year and I feel like I've been riding well."

William Fox-Pitt, Kitty King, Gemma Tattersall and Izzy Taylor make up the team, while Pippa Funnell is the travelling reserve.

It means Cook, who won individual and team bronze medals at the 2008 Olympics and a team silver at London 2012, will not travel to Brazil.

She is convinced that her horse, Billy the Red, is capable of competing in the Games despite his young age.

Cook, from Findon in Sussex, added: "I've got some young horses coming through and I thought I'd timed their performances to perfection. I feel quite deflated and disappointed.

"He is on the young side and they (the selectors) have said 'will he cope with the atmosphere?' even though I've exposed him to plenty of atmosphere and he's come up with the goods.

"I think he would have handled it very well, but we haven't been given the chance to fight our corner - we just get told whether we're in or out.

"A major championship each year is what I aim for. The Olympic Games is really special. My main goal has been taken away from me.

"I am a reserve, so if any of the other riders or horses get any injuries I'll be there to step into their place, but being a reserve is an awkward position to be in."

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