Athletics: Top men miss out: Regis splits selectors

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JOHN REGIS and Tony Jarrett, who cried off from the weekend's KP National Championships and trials, were selected for Britain's European Championships team yesterday. But they have not yet done enough to convince England's Commonwealth Games selectors, who have announced their first wave of names.

Regis reported an Achilles problem shortly before the championships, and Jarrett pulled out because of a damaged toe. At least one selector believed that they could have competed if pushed.

The British Athletic Federation's policy on selection was set out in a preparation report by Frank Dick, the former head of coaching, which went out to around 200 leading competitors in February.

It stated that all athletes wishing to be considered for the European Championships and Commonwealth Games had to compete in the AAA Championships - which were subsumed into the national championships for the first time this year.

'An athlete may be excused this selection condition only on the written authority of the relevant commission chairman,' the report continued. The selectors reserved the right, however, to take into account 'exceptional circumstances'.

The Commonwealth selectors from the AAA of England have stuck more firmly to that policy than the European Championships selectors from BAF itself.

Even so, there are no European places yet for Regis and Jarrett's Haringey colleagues who also missed the National Championships - Dalton Grant, the European indoor high jump champion, and Gary Cadogan, Britain's leading 400m hurdler last year.

Clearly the fact that the trials have come too early for many athletes - so as not to clash with the football World Cup - has been taken into consideration, as has a crowded season.

Tony Ward, the BAF spokesman, said: 'It will be a long, hard summer and the selectors are sympathetic to the problems.'

Teams, Sporting Digest, page 35