English cyclist Melissa Lowther was left feeling disappointed and ‘gutted’ after an administrative error led to her name being left off the start list for the individual time trial at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Lowther was due to contest the time trial on Tuesday in Currumbin, Australia, alongside fellow English rider Hayley Simmonds.
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When the error was spotted just before the event by Team England officials, an appeal was lodged – but it was deemed too late for her to be added to the start list, and Lowther was not allowed to ride.
“I can’t put into words how disappointed I am to have been missed off the start list due to an admin error,” said Lowther.
“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.
“Hearing the news was really difficult and I’d like to thank my family, friends and British Cycling for their support.
“My plan now is to try and put this out of my mind while I focus on preparing for the road race.”
Team England apologised to Lowther, and have said that a review will take place to find out how the situation arose.
Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said: “I have spoken to Melissa to offer my sincere apologies to her, her coaches and to British Cycling.
“Melissa has trained hard for and focussed on this race and it should never be the case that an error on our part prevents an athlete showing what she can do.
“We appealed to the Commonwealth Games Federation to allow Melissa into the race 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.”
Simmonds went on to claim bronze in the women’s individual time trial, with Australian Katrin Garfoot winning gold and New Zealander Linda Villumsen completing the podium with silver.