Becky Downie reeling after being left out of gymnastics team for Tokyo Olympics

The 29-year-old was informed late last month that she had not made the cut.

Mark Staniforth
Monday 07 June 2021 11:47 BST
Becky Downie
Becky Downie (PA Wire)

Becky Downie has been left broken by the news that she has been left out of the British women’s gymnastics team for next month’s Tokyo Olympics.

The 29-year-old was informed late last month that she had not made the cut for the four-strong team, nor one of three reserve slots.

Downie had been granted an additional chance to make the team after missing the final selection trial last month due to the tragic sudden death of her brother Josh.

Sources close to the gymnast told the PA news agency she believed she had done enough to justify her place in the team, and was left reeling after being informed to the contrary.

The line-up for the women’s gymnastics team is set to be officially unveiled on Monday afternoon, with Downie’s younger sister Ellie also absent.

Ellie, who withdrew herself from consideration following her brother’s death, tweeted on Monday of her sister’s snub: “I would say it comes as a shock but after how we’ve been treated this year it’s not really”.

Downie’s camp are also aggrieved that the end of 48-hour window for her appeal against the selectors’ decision – which she submitted – coincided with the day of her brother’s funeral.

Downie has battled injuries since she claimed a world silver medal in 2019 and selectors clearly believe there is a better chance of winning an unlikely team medal without her.

Downie expressed her frustration early last month at British Gymnastics’ refusal to allow her to use her favoured brand of equipment for the trials, believing it could count against her.

The subsequent sudden death of her brother put the issue into perspective, but after discussions with the governing body she took up an additional opportunity to prove her worth.

In July last year the Downie sisters spoke up about the “environment of fear and mental abuse” at elite levels within the domestic sport, and called for change.

British Gymnastics were set to give more details about the selection decision at a series of media Zoom calls later on Monday.

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