Former world Ironman and triathlon champion Leanda Cave has been denied a spot on Wales triathlon team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. Cave, who won a Commonwealth Games silver medal for Wales in Manchester in 2002 before moving up to conquer the Ironman distance in 2012, was getting set to help Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins win medals in Glasgow.
The 36-year-old Cave posted a blog in which she explained that the selection process has shifted in the last few weeks by an administration that wants to chose an athlete for the mixed relay rather than take a third individual female to Glasgow. Cave wrote: “Unfortunately I will not be representing Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and it’s disappointing on so many levels…There were three positions available on the Welsh team, however only two Welsh women were chosen: the very talented Non Stanford and Helen Jenkins.”
“I was in direct communication with the selection committee and essentially I had fulfilled their requirements to make the team by racing ITU Continental Cups in Mexico and Chile earlier this year, both of which I won. However, a few weeks ago, the ITU (International Triathlon Union) apparently changed the rules that no longer required athletes from the individual event to compete in the team relay” she continued.
Understandably disappointed, Cave explained, “I’m definitely frustrated that the goal posts were moved so late in the selection process. I could have spent my time and money doing things a lot differently. It was also a huge risk coming back with such race intensity after my chronic injury last year…But after all is said and done, I’m ultimately grateful for the opportunity I was given to try to qualify.”
“I may be 36, but I’m racing as well (if not faster) than I did when I was 26!” she added.