Commonwealth Games: Team England admin error leaves cyclist Melissa Lowther 'gutted'

Melissa Lowther
Lowther was prevented from competing in the time trial but has been entered for the road race
2018 Commonwealth Games
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Dates: 4-15 April
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with extra streams on Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app; listen on Radio 5 live; follow text updates online. Times and channels

Cyclist Melissa Lowther was "gutted" after an administration error by Team England meant she was not entered into the women's time trial at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Lowther, 21, was not allowed to compete in Tuesday's road cycling event despite a late appeal by team management.

Sarah Winckless, Team England's chef de mission, said a review would take place.

"I can't put into words how disappointed I am," Lowther said.

"It was one of my targets this season to make selection for the time-trial event and I was so proud that my hard work in training had paid off.

"While Team England have apologised, I'm still gutted not to have the opportunity to represent my country after all the hard miles I've put in."

Melissa Lowther Instagram
Lowther revealed her frustrations in this Instagram post

Winckless has apologised to Lowther directly for the paperwork blunder.

"I have spoken to Melissa to offer my sincere apologies to her, her coaches and to British Cycling," Winckless added.

"Melissa has trained hard for and focused on this race and it should never be the case that an error on our part prevents an athlete from showing what she can do.

"We appealed to the Commonwealth Games Federation to allow Melissa into the race, but it was not possible at such short notice.

"Team England will be conducting a review to understand how the situation has arisen and how it can be prevented from happening again."

Lowther's England team-mate Hayley Simmonds took the bronze medal in the event as Australia's Katrin Garfoot won gold ahead of New Zealand's Linda Villumsen.

Lowther is still set to make her Commonwealth Games debut on Australia's Gold Coast as she has been entered for Saturday's road race.

Analysis

Former Olympic champion Chris Boardman

"It's a tragic story - it's highly embarrassing for all concerned.

"Mel travelled all this way to compete and prepared for this specifically, only to be told that someone forgot to put her name on the list.

"I'm disappointed with the organisation, that even though this is supposed to be the 'friendly Games' they've said 'no, you didn't put your name down by the time specified'.

"I think that is extremely disappointing. The error shouldn't have occurred in the first place of course, but people are human."

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