Kane Radford, Charlotte Webby set to appeal Olympic snubs

By David Leggat

Kane Radford. Photo / Ben Fraser
Kane Radford. Photo / Ben Fraser

New Zealand open water swimmers Kane Radford and Charlotte Webby are likely to appeal their non-nomination for the Rio Olympic Games.

Radford, originally from Rotorua but now based in Perth, finished 19th at the final qualifying event in Portugal this month, after placing 30th at the world championships in Kazan, Russia last year.

Swimming New Zealand declined to nominate him, or Phillip Ryan or Webby, who were 34th and 31st respectively in Portugal. The SNZ selectors were not satisfied there was sufficient evidence they were capable of achieving a top 16 placing in Rio, with the potential for a top eight finish, as required by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

Representatives for both Radford and Webby will meet Swimming New Zealand for a 'without prejudice' meeting tomorrow.

From there, if there is no resolution, the pair have five days to lodge an appeal to the Sports Tribunal.

SNZ are not able to comment on the matter as it is now going through a formal process. Ten places for the fields of 25 in Rio were on offer at the worlds last year, and another 10 at the Portugal qualifier.

Radford finished 20 seconds off the last qualifying spot, and about 34s behind the winner.

Swimming's governing body Fina offered one extra quota spot to each region, the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania for countries not already qualified. That would fill out the fields to 25 in each race in Rio, on a one swimmer per country basis.

That equated to a gimme for SNZ to put forward Radford's name to the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

In past years that might well have got Radford a trip. However the NZOC attitude these days is hardline on qualification.

Two elite New Zealand sailors, board sailor Natalia Kosinska and Laser Radial athlete Sara Winther, recently appealed to the Sports Tribunal over Yachting New Zealand's failure to nominate them for Rio.

The tribunal rejected their appeals but was critical of YNZ's treatment of the pair.

- NZ Herald

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