BOA intervenes to revive Cook's hopes

 

The prospect of Aaron Cook winning an Olympic reprieve moved a significant step closer yesterday when the British Olympic Association asked GB Taekwondo to reconsider its selection for this summer's Games.

Cook, who is today expected to be named world No 1 when the rankings are updated, was overlooked by the sport's governing body, who preferred Lutalo Muhammad despite him being ranked a lowly 56th. The BOA has told GB Taekwondo to "reconvene" its selection panel "at the earliest opportunity".

The BOA will also send an independent observer to the meeting. The BOA cannot demand that Cook, who finished fourth in Beijing, be selected, only refuse to sanction the sport's choice of athlete.

The decision to omit Cook has been seen as political. Last year the 21-year-old left the governing body's high performance programme to undertake his own training regime. Of the five-strong selection panel, two voted in Muhammad's favour, one in Cook's and two abstained.

Yesterday the BOA's statement pointedly recorded "all members of the selection committee who have a right to vote are in fact encouraged to do so." The BOA also suggested that each of the athletes in question should be allowed to make representations to the panel via his coach.

GB Taekwondo has yet to agree to what the BOA terms a "request" and will first decide whether to appeal "in the next 24 hours." A statement from GB Taekwondo said: "We have been subject to a judicial process that has prevented us from saying more in the public arena than we would want."

Cook's exclusion is said to be based on a suggestion that he is more vulnerable than Muhammad to a new method of scoring head shots. "A disproportionate amount of emphasis should not be given to the so-called head-shot rule," said the BOA.

Cook, who has received notable support from current and former Olympians ranging from Sir Steve Redgrave to Tom Daley, tweeted last night: "Thanks to all the public, fellow athletes and legends for your support. If given the chance, I will make GB proud."

Olympic news you may have missed...

Hannah England, the surprise 1500m silver medal winner at the World Championships in Daegu last summer, is struggling to make the Olympic trials next month after being badly spiked in her first international race of the summer.

The Oxford City athlete won the metric mile at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games at Hengelo in the Netherlands on Sunday but at the cost of an injury that required hospitalisation.

"Hannah got a spike in her achilles tendon and will be out for a number of weeks," Charles van Commenee, the head coach of UK Athletics, said yesterday. "It's not good news. It's a worry.

"She's had no surgery but she had to be in hospital a few days. We're using all the modern technology to get the wound healing so that she picks up training quickly.

"She'll try to get back for the trials. We're working towards that scenario, but it's impossible to predict."

England posted the news on her Facebook fanpage, saying: "Got some battle scars from being spiked. No stitches but will have some cool scars! Taking it easy this week to avoid infection and reduce risk of lingering problems."

What's coming up...

Today & tomorrow In a probable preview of the Olympic 110m hurdle final, Cuban gold medallist Dayron Robles faces 2008 poster boy Liu Xiang and bronze medallist David Oliver at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon.

Who's up?

GB men's hockey side Put 3-2 loss to Argentina behind them by beating New Zealand 2-1 and drawing with South Korea 1-1 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Who's down?

Germany Sending lowest number of athletes – 380 – to a Games since 1990 reunification.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory